What are folks doing about AT&T’s planned shutdown of their 3G network in February '22 in the USA? They’ve told me that my FP3 will no longer work on their network (a guy in the store said they’re actually shutting down some 4G capability?), so they sent me a replacement phone and sent a message this week that they’ll be deactivating my current phone (my FP3) next week. Until now, I’ve had no trouble on AT&T. I’m trying T-Mobile, voice and text work fine but I can’t get data to turn on. Anyone having any luck with either AT&T or T-Mobile going forward?
@andrinor and @strongthany I’ve allowed myself to move your posts here as I think it’s a better place to exchange first-hand user experience in the USA.
And welcome to the Fairphone Community Forum
Thanks for all people are sharing, this all seems really important info as I’ve been wanting a Fairphone in the States for probably 7-10 years, whenever I first heard about it…
But @Andrinor , I’ll be anxiously awaiting any replies to you, as it seems like if AT&T isn’t allowing it and data isn’t working on T-Mobile, that options are pretty shot…
I just sent @Nell a message since she seemed to buy one recently, Nell are you having similar experiences to Andrinor?
To add one more Q here, and feel free to reply here @Nell since I asked you these Q’s in a private message, but would love to hear from anyone else too:
What network are people successfully using right now?
What type of phone did you have before and do you need to really dial down your expectations of what’s possible when switching to Fairphone (particularly given Fairphone isn’t able to provide technical or other support in the US, if I understand right, though it would help if any particulars could be shared about what exactly they will and won’t do)? I’ve mostly used iPhones in past and now, but Android a little (so of course that switch from an iPhone would be its own adjustment regardless, so not talking about that really).
Thanks for anything folks can share!
Just to mention, in case you did not read this. We might see the FP4 coming soon, which could have complete different frequencies also due to 5g, so probably its worths to wait a bit
Thanks! Any rough estimate as to when it should be out?
The only thing we all know for sure is that they will announce something in September…
I’m more than a little sceptical as there is a new batch of FP3+ being prepared and I’m not sure they would release an FP4 whilst that is/has to be sold.
Unless of course it’s supper dooper high flying around the moon and back that costs the earth.
I hope there is an FP4. I was wrong about Trump getting in, I was wrong about the UK leaving the EU, so what more could I get wrong, OH! everything
- I’m using AT&T successfully right now, but as noted above I’ve been told my phone will be deactivated next week. I suspect I’ll be able to argue out of that (they just want me to start using the replacement phone they mailed) but I’m fairly certain my FP3 will no longer work in February '22 when they shut down their 3G network. (I don’t understand why this would impact my FP3 since it works on 4G…)
- My first smartphone was a Fairphone 1 which I used in Africa in 2013-2016. It was all I’d known and it was great. When I came back to the US, my FP1 worked for a few months, until AT&T shut down 2G in December 2016. I used AT&T’s free replacement and a couple other budget smartphones until I got an FP3 in 2020. In my experience Fairphones are by far the fastest and most reliable smartphones out there - but I’ve never used an iPhone or other high-end smartphone. I hate the bloatware that comes with AT&T branded phones.
While we’re here, @strongthany you noted on another thread “I can personally attest to T-mobile working for me.” - can you share anything about how you got your data to work and what bands you might be running off of in your area? I’ve spent hours on tech support with T-Mobile trying to get my data to work, and they’re now telling me (this is a verbatim quote) “your phone uses Bands 2 and 4 and our network uses Bands 2 and 4 in your area, but your phone is still not compatible with our network.” (This despite the fact that I was speaking with them via that ‘incompatible’ phone…)
Hey there! Sorry for the slow reply, it’s been quite the week for me. I will give you the bad news before I give you the good news.
The bad news is I have done nothing to get T-Mobile to work for me. I just slapped a SIM card in and it started working for me. This is was set up in the midwest United States and the furthest I’ve traveled with it was a flight to AZ, but even then it worked fine.
The good news is I would call myself fairly tech savvy, so I can try to collect some data on the bands my phone connects to! So far I have tried using Tower Collector but that wasn’t providing me the information I was hoping for, so I tried out CellMapper. I recorded some data from that but not sure if the information provided is of any use. Regardless I have shared it below. If you have anything else you need of me, apps you want me to use to record signals, or anything at all I can do to help, feel free to tag me again and I’ll be happy to assist!
Just to add quickly that I think that my data is working just fine. Due to the fact that I live in a low-signal area (coverage maps look at the corner where we live and despair), when I’m home, the data network reads Edge but it seems to be working. I live in rural northeastern Connecticut (Woodstock).
Hope that helps!
Some US operators (at least T-Mobile if I’m not mistaken) have marketed HSPA+ (the highest bandwidth 3G standard) as 4G. Maybe some phones sold through these operators display these networks as 4G as a marketing trick, but the FP2 and FP3(+) simply show H+ here.
I think you’re right - when I open up ‘About Phone’ in my FP3 settings and tap on ‘SIM status (sim slot 1)’ (where I have my AT&T sim card), under ‘Mobile data network type’ it says HSPA+. Meanwhile tapping on ‘(sim slot 2)’ (my T-Mobile card) under ‘Mobile data network type’ it says ‘LTE’. (This despite the fact that I can’t get that data to work.) If my phone is only working on HSPA+ on AT&T and they’re shutting down 3G that makes sense that it would impact my FP3 too.
I’m using an FP3 in NYC with an ultramobile SIM, which is a T-moblile network reseller. Voice/texts/data seem to work fine when I get reception, which is good in the the city, and less good in more rural parts… It shows up as LTE. I also have a UK EE sim in the other slot, which seems to work too, but I only use it for receiving texts as the roaming charges are fairly steep. I did have to manually add the ultramobile APN info, but everything has worked fine since then.
Okay that is promising! Would you be up for sharing your APN settings?
The Fairphone only allows data on one sim card at any time so I wonder! do you adjust settings to switch which sim slot can use data?
Thanks for the quick responses all!!
Can I ask how much people in the US spent to buy the latest Fairphone?
It sounds like the newest one not yet out would be about $830, which is kinda high for me but since I’m used to an iPhone (as much as I hate to be), maybe I should consider the newest when it comes out…anyone know if there’s a way to do a payment plan even though we’re in the US? Maybe through the site that someone mentioned you could have ship to people in the States (maybe something like Chloe or something it was called?)….
Appreciate the support network here however things go, that says something positive about the spirit of this work regardless!
There absolutely no indication of how much the FP4 will cost or when it will be marketed. There is a 700Euro surprise packet tied to a competition and there is a record of an FP4 being registered for 5G, that’s it.
There is also an official note saying not for another 18 months after the FP3 so that would be next year.
Anyway I would be happy to see an FP4 in the next week.
Thanks for clarifying that amoun
The FP3 is availalabe since 2019. which offical note are you referring to?
In case they did not completely change their way of communications and in case its a new device it will be available directly after the announcement.
So as already stated above the only we know for sure at the moment is that somehing will be announced this month. Knowing they will announce something and with the wifi alliance leak, I would def wait with an order to see if its a new phone or not.