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911 Dispatch Services Warn Of 3G Discontinuation

Thomas B.

Older cell phones will be phased out in the next year. Ingham County Central Dispatch wants residents to be prepared for when these phones are left without a lifeline.

The shutdown of cell phones that use 3G technology could begin as early as Jan. 1, 2022.

Barb Davidson, with Ingham County Dispatch Services, said it's important that everyone with a 3G device upgrade to a newer one before the end of the year.

“The devices will not only be disabled for normal use. But one of the things that we've always told people is, prior to this, if you had a cell phone and it had a charge, you could call 911. And that is no longer going to be accurate," she said.

Davidson said this change could affect individuals who use their cellphones just to make calls, like the elderly.

“This is a plea for folks to check their own devices or possibly help a loved one to do that, to ensure that they can remain connected to each other," she said. "And then obviously to us in case there's any event where they might need to call 911.”

Generally, phones released before 2011 are stuck on the 3G network.

People can identify whether they have a 3G device by retrieving their phone’s International Mobile Equipment Identity number and plugging that number into www.imei.info. To find your IMEI number you can call *#06#.

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