As the year comes to an end, network providers are putting a stop to their 3G satellites. Here's how the closure may affect the tech that you rely on every day. 3G is shutting down and some of your most essential tech may soon -- or, may have already -- become unusable. What steered the evolution of how we use, interact, and communicate with technology 20 years ago will officially retire by the end of 2022 (which is in two weeks), with major US carriers having nearly finished repurposing their 3G satellites. In their place: 5G, the next-generation network that promises considerably faster speeds than 4G LTE and a more unified system for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) expansion. So, what does this all mean for older hardware like cell phones, alarms, and GPS systems that thrive on the 3G spectrum? To put it bluntly, many of the network-driven features will become obsolete, presenting some unforeseen dangers. Fortunately, there are steps that you and your loved ones can take to safely transition from aging to future-proof tech. In some cases, manufacturers may even be able to give your older gadgets new life through software upgrades. Here is everything you need to know about the "3G sunset", how it will affect the technology that you use, and what you can do to stay afloat in the ever-changing landscape. While carriers have been planning the closure of 3G since 4G LTE took the reins (and the prospect of 5G being another catalyst) the agenda took a pause during the pandemic. Over the past two years, 3G-reliant services like home security systems and tech for the elderly have become more essential than ever, keeping telecommunications companies from pulling the plug. That is, until 2022, with major US carriers finally giving in and having already shut down their 3G satellites. For the greater portion of the 3G era, smartphones enabled users to browse the web, share viral videos, update statuses, and connect with people from around the world. That all remains possible through 4G LTE, 5G, and Wi-Fi networks. With 3G turned off, the iPhone 3GS, for example, won't be able to make calls or text messages, but can still connect to Wi-Fi to access internet-based applications. According to the CTIA, "fewer than nine percent of the US wireless connections are 2G or 3G subscriptions." If you're using a smartphone that launched after 2014, you likely won't experience any setbacks from the 3G shutdown. The same applies to flip phones that were released after 2017. Unsure of what year your device was manufactured? The best solution is to check with your local carrier -- in person or online -- to see if there are any compatibility issues. Besides ushering in the revolution of smartphones, 3G has played a foundational role in the navigation and alarm-based systems that we rely on during our everyday commutes. With the institution of faster and more reliable 5G, roadside assistance and emergency crash alerts are among the many network-based features that will be affected by the shutting down of 3G. Many cars also have an emergency SOS button that, when pressed, dials first responders via 3G. That, too, will lose functionality. Vehicles from popular automakers like Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, Hyundai, Dodge, and more released before 2019 are susceptible to the issues mentioned above. The main reason that newer models still carry 3G receivers, according to Roger Lanctot, director of automotive connected mobility at Strategy Analytics, is for automakers to save on manufacturing costs. Further details can be found on OUR FORUM.