AT&T 3G Shutdown: Impacts and Mitigation

AT&T will shut down its 3G network in the United States on February 22, 2022. If your devices are dependent on 3G connectivity, they will no longer be able to connect to AT&T after this shutdown. T-Mobile also plans to shut down its 3G and 2G network in near future.

Particle recommends all customers to have a plan to continue development on LTE enabled SKUs. Below is a summary of what we think should be considered in formulating your unique plan.


The situation in the United States is more urgent, as both major GSM operators (AT&T and T-Mobile) have near-term plans to sunset 2G and 3G networks.

  • 2G
    • AT&T has already sunset 2G service
    • T-Mobile will sunset 2G network, but a date has not yet been determined
  • 3G
    • AT&T will complete 3G service sunset by Feb 22, 2022
    • T-Mobile, plans to sunset 3G by July 1, 2022

In Canada, all major carriers (Rogers, Telus, Bell) have active plans to sunset 2G, while 3G is planned to be supported until ~2025.

2G: Bell and Telus have completed 2G sunset and Rogers will complete 2G sunset by the end of Dec 2020
3G: Bell, Telus, and Rogers have plans to keep 3G networks active through 2025

Beginning in Feb 2022, all 2G/3G devices deployed in the United States are at risk of degraded or disrupted connectivity that will prevent these devices from connecting to the Particle Cloud, sending and receiving messages, and otherwise behaving normally.

What should I do to prevent and minimize disruption to my Particle fleet?

We highly recommend that all customers plan to migrate to LTE based products. This means that you might need to swap out any devices already deployed in filed or migrate ongoing development projects to LTE based products. There are LTE-compatible paths for all Particle products for the North American market. Customers should procure, test, and plan to migrate all 2G/3G products to LTE products.

Following is a list of LTE compatible products, in general avalability in North America, you can find details in Particle’s documentation here

SKU Description Lifecycle
ONE404MEA Tracker One LTE M1 (NorAm), [x1] GA
ONE404MTY Tracker One LTE M1 (NorAm), Bulk [x40] GA
T404MEA Tracker SoM LTE M1 (NorAm), [x1] GA
T404MKIT Tracker SoM LTE M1 (NorAm) Evaluation Kit, [x1] GA
T404MTY Tracker SoM LTE M1 (NorAm), Tray [x50] GA
B404MEA B Series LTE CAT-M1 (NorAm), [x1] GA
B404MTY B Series LTE CAT-M1 (NorAm), Tray [x50] GA
BRN404 Boron LTE CAT-M1 (NorAm), [x1] GA
BRN404KIT Boron LTE CAT-M1 (NorAm) Starter Kit, [x1] GA
BRN404TRAY50 Boron LTE CAT-M1 (NorAm), Tray [x50] GA
E404KIT E Series LTE CAT-M1 (NorAm) Evaluation Kit, [x1] GA
E404MOD1 E Series LTE CAT-M1 (NorAm), [x1] GA
E404TRAY50 E Series LTE CAT-M1 (NorAm), Tray [x50] GA
ELC404TY Electron LTE CAT-M1 (NorAm), Tray [x50] GA


  • What is happening with AT&T 3G network?

    • AT&T has ongoing plan to shutdown its 3G network in US. The 3G shutdown will be completed by February of 2022. Devices, that connect to only 3G network should plan to upgrade to LTE based products.
  • Why is AT&T shutting down its 3G network?

    • Carriers need to be able to re-use spectrum to grow new networks and provide faster, more responsive technology for their customers. Old 2G/3G infrastructure must make way for new networks, and this means older cellular devices will no longer be viable and must be retired.
  • Will my 3G Electron/Boron stop working?

    • Devices are expected to lose AT&T’s cellular connectivity. Your device should still be able to work until July 1, 2022 if it has access to T-Mobile’s 3G network, and may function longer if it has access to T-Mobile’s 2G network. However, network connectivity and features like OTA updates could be severely degraded.
  • Will my devices connect to T-Mobile’s network?

    • If T-Mobile coverage is avaiable in your area, your devices should connect to it. However, as T-Mobile plans to sunset its 3G network in July 2022, you should expect degraded service. You can use cloud debug tool, to do a tower scan and check if T-Mobile network is available in your area.
  • Which LTE products are suitable for United States?

    • Please refer Particle’s documentation here.
  • Where do I purchase LTE devices from?

  • What about 3G sunset in rest of the world?

    • Please refer to our documentaion for detailed information.
1 Like

@Colleen ,

I have one location where the shutdown of AT&T’s 3G service is causing an issue. I replaced my Electrons with Electron LTE device but kept everything else the same. I made this swap prior to the shutdown and was able to connect and test the solution. However, about a week later, these devices starting acting stragely:

The devices connect and send data every hour. However, they will not respond to Particle variable or function calls. This is new behavior and it is limited to a single location. If I take one of these devices a few miles down the road, they work fine.

I have opened a ticket but have received no response. I am wondering if anyone else had run into issues with this sunset event.



Hmm this one is a real brain teaser @chipmc. Can you DM me the device id? It’s likely a misconfiguration on the tower - but if it’s a config that is being put on more and more towers, the issue could grow. The team is looking into similar cases that occurred in Canada. I’ll let you know as soon as I know more.

@Colleen ,

Thank you. I will send you the DM now.