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AT&T is shutting down its 3G technology Tuesday with other carrier to follow. Here's what to know

The 3G technology fade out, or sunset, is happening so that companies can make room for better technology.

INDIANAPOLIS — AT&T's 3G network is shutting down Tuesday, and other carriers are following suit later this year.  

Verizon will shut down its 3G network by December 2022. T-Mobile said it will finish shutting down Sprint's 3G CDMA network by March 2022 and Sprint's 4G LTE network by June 2022. 

Why are carriers doing this? 

The 3G technology fade out, or sunset, is happening so that companies can make room for better technology.

Sascha Segan with PCMag said the system is old.

"These systems were turned on 20 to 25 years ago. And it uses valuable airwaves very inefficiently," Segan said. 

Segan added that 4G and 5G technology makes better use of the billion-dollar airwaves that carriers rent from the government.

"The carriers are repurposing the airwaves that they used for 3G with the more efficient technologies."

Will this affect me? 

When it comes to cell phones, the sunset will affect iPhone models 5 and older and certain Androids and flip phones. 

Some carriers are offering free replacements to customers. 

"These (phones) are often held by elderly people or kids. The kids have hand me down phones, which may be much older smartphones, and older people just hang on to a flip phone for a long period of time. So check with your parents, check with your grandparents," Segan said.

Segan suggests asking those people if they see a 3G, H or H+ in the corner of their phone. If the 3G device is your kid's knock-around Kindle or iPad do not toss it, it will still work with Wi-Fi. 

"You'll still be able to make iMessage, iCloud calls over the Wi-Fi," Segan said. 

Other things that could be affected include home security systems, your vehicle's OnStar, and personal emergency devices.

To find out if your home alarm system is affected, call the company or check their website.

This is the DIY fix ADT is suggesting to customers.

While there is a spot on OnStar's site where you can plug in your VIN, a GM representative said, "All GM vehicles that support 3G also support 4G LTE technology. The necessary network changes have been completed for all of our vehicles that protects them from 3G sunset. GM will continue to deploy software updates through 2022 to ensure a high-quality experience as vehicles begin to utilize the 4G LTE network."

If a loved one wears a personal medical device, check with the carrier to see if it needs an update. 

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