Network Technology Transition
The wireless industry has a new standard for voice technology, which is what allows you to make calls and send text messages (SMS) and picture messages (MMS). Cellcom refers to this new technology as Advanced Calling. Advanced Calling also gives you the ability to use data while on a call and uses 4G networks.
Cellcom partners with other carriers to provide nationwide coverage for its customers. Some of these partners have announced plans to retire their 3G network, which was the previous standard for calls, text and picture messages, to make way for new technology. The 3G coverage area has already begun to shrink and your service may be affected now or in the near future. At some point Cellcom will also retire its 3G network.
To ensure the best experience, you should plan to upgrade to a device that is compatible with Advance Calling.
What Does this Mean for You?
We understand this may be confusing and you may have many questions. Please read through the commonly asked questions below. CTIA has also published a consumer resources article titled, "What to Know about the Sunsetting of 2G/3G Networks in Preparation for 5G." You can read it HERE. If you are unable to find the answers you are looking for, please contact us at 800-236-0055. We are here to help.
Why do I need to get a new phone?
The wireless industry is moving to a new technology for voice calls, text messages (SMS) and picture messages (MMS) that requires a compatible phone. Cellcom refers to this new technology as Advanced Calling. This technological shift isn't specific to Cellcom and some carriers have already retired their 3G network and others have deadlines set later this year. Once this technology is phased out your current device will not work when traveling outside Cellcom's home network area. At some point Cellcom will also retire this technology and your phone will then be obsolete.
In addition to ensuring your phone will continue to operate properly on our network as well as when you're roaming on other networks and being able to use data while on a call, you'll enjoy a better camera and longer battery life with a new device.
What are the benefits of moving to a device that is capable of Advanced Calling?
- Ensuring you’ll be able to make calls and send texts and picture messages.
- The ability to use data while on a call (this is only applicable to smartphones).
What happens if I do not upgrade my device?
To avoid service issues including being able to make a call, send a text or use data, you need a new phone that is compatible with new technology. As older technology is phased out, you will experience service interruptions when you are in an area where only Advanced Calling is available. If you’re traveling outside of Cellcom’s home area these interruptions may already be occurring and will be more frequent as networks are shut down later this year. Cellcom has not announced a date for retiring its older technology, but after this occurs your phone simply will not work.
How do I decide which phone will work best for me?
Call us or visit us at one of our retail locations so we can talk through what you like about your current device and get you into a phone that is compatible with the new technology and meets your needs. We have options to fit your budget and your lifestyle.
Will my monthly bill change if I get a new device?
If you have a basic device and move to another basic device, you will not have to add a data plan and your rate plan will remain the same. If you currently have a smartphone, we can keep you on your current rate plan if you’re satisfied with it.
If you move from a basic device to a smartphone, your monthly bill will change. We’re happy to provide a bill estimate if you are changing device type to make sure you know what your monthly bill will look like.
Can I stay on a basic device?
If you’re satisfied with your current basic device, we do have the LG Wine 2 available. It’s a flip phone style device that supports the new technology and also provides a better camera, longer battery life, and has a dedicated button for autodialing emergency contacts. It’s a very affordable option and does not require a data plan.
What are the benefits to changing to a smartphone?
Transitioning to a smartphone offers many benefits:
- Live weather updates, forecasts and radar at your fingertips.
- Easy-to-use GPS navigation for simplified travel and convenient traffic updates
- An easy to use, spectacular camera to capture life’s adventures
- A place for all your contacts, calendar events, emails and more
How can I learn to use my new device?
We’d be happy to schedule a one-on-one appointment for you to meet with a sales consultant to select the best device for your lifestyle and then walk you through how to use it. You'll leave feeling comfortable with your new phone!
Will my old charging cord still work?
You will likely need a new charging cord. Manufacturers have shifted from the micro USB port to the newer type C port. Consumers have found the new port easier to use and less fragile because it is reversible. Most new devices come with a charging cable in the box, but you would need to replace any spare cords. Additionally, many newer phones have wireless charging capability that make the charging process even easier. Our sales consultants can help you to get the right accessories and help you take advantage of promotional pricing.
Are there options if I do not want to go into a store right now?
We appreciate your time and want you to stay safe. We have a variety of options to make it easy for you to get a new device. You can purchase online, use curbside assistance, or you can call to talk to one of our sales consultants who can assist you in selecting the best device for your lifestyle and you can then use curbside assistance to pick up your new device or we can mail it to you.
How will my coverage be impacted by this change?
To understand the impact the changes in our network will have on your coverage when they are implemented, please use the coverage indicators below.
Voice & Messaging Coverage
- For voice and messaging coverage as of 1/1/2021 click the box in front of "Domestic Voice & Messaging (CDMA)."
- To see the estimation of what voice and messaging coverage will look like when network changes take effect in 2022, click on the box in front of "Domestic Voice & Messaging (CDMA Estimated 2022).
- For 3G data coverage as of 1/1/2021 click the box in front of "3G Data – Domestic."
- To see the estimation of what 3G data coverage will look like when network changes take effect in 2022, click on the box in front of "3G Data – Domestic (Estimated 2022)."
* Access the 4G LTE network within the Moderate coverage area; certain conditions may cause your service to connect to 3G in this area.
** In 2022 CDMA service will not be available in the Caribbean but Cellcom will still be able to provide coverage to customers traveling to the Caribbean through the international roaming product offering. To learn more about international roaming, click here.
LTE is a trademark of ETSI. Coverage depicted, as of 04/1/2021, is for Cellcom data and messaging services and the following calling plans: Lifestyle Unlimited, USAmerica, Share & Advance Pay. Calls originating in your calling plan's home area and terminating outside the home area are subject to long distance charges. Calls originating outside your calling plan's home area are subject to roaming and long distance changes. Please see a sales representative for details. The coverage areas depicted are approximate and require the latest software/PRL. To inquire about specific service availability in a geographical area, contact Cellcom Customer Care at (800) 236-0055. Geographic terrain, weather conditions, and type of equipment may affect cellular coverage. Wireless service is subject to technological limitations including capacity and tower availability. Some of the coverage areas include networks run by other carriers, and the depiction of coverage is based on such other carriers' information. As such, Cellcom cannot guarantee the accuracy of the coverage depiction in all areas.