AT&T statements a telephone designed in 2019 will stop operating, urges customers to enhance

Enlarge / A person walks with an umbrella outside of AT&T corporate headquarters on March 13, 2020, in Dallas, Texas.

AT&T is sending emails to consumers warning them that their phones will end performing shortly and that they really should acquire a new cell phone to proceed getting details and voice support. But the email is deceptive because these older telephones will go on operating on AT&T’s community till 2022, or yet another 18 months. Even worse, the AT&T email is heading to some clients whose telephones have the modern technological know-how desired to proceed functioning after the 2022 cutoff.

“We will shortly be upgrading our network to use the latest systems,” the AT&T e-mail claimed, as demonstrated in an report posted now by Android Law enforcement. “But your product… is not appropriate with the new community and you need to have to continue to swap it to continue on obtaining company. Our workforce is here to help you find a suitable machine that matches your requirements.” The e mail advertises “cost-free very same-working day delivery” for new phones.

The email back links to an AT&T assist website page titled, “Get prepared, 3G is likely away in 2022.” The assist webpage claims AT&T is phasing out its 3G network by February 2022 and that “As soon as we do, 3G products and 4G wi-fi products that never aid Hd Voice will no for a longer time get the job done on our network.”

Though the electronic mail to consumers links to that website page, the electronic mail itself makes it sound like telephones will prevent functioning in the close to future instead than 18 months from now. People who get the e-mail and do not click on the website link might consider they have to buy a new cellphone now.

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Moreover, some customers are having the e mail even although they presently have phones that aid 4G and the Voice around LTE (VoLTE) engineering that permits AT&T’s High definition Voice provider. A person purchaser who suspected the AT&T e mail was a scam wrote on an AT&T guidance discussion board yesterday:

I just obtained an e-mail from AT&T that their community is no for a longer time appropriate to my product and I should up grade. Very first off, this e-mail to me sounded fishy. There was odd letters and numbers in the e-mail tackle line. With this ongoing pandemic regretably you have to be quite very careful what’s serious and not a fraud. Is this legit or no? My cellphone is more than a calendar year outdated, an Android S10E.

The Samsung Galaxy S10E talked about by that consumer was unveiled in March 2019 and is capable of supporting High definition Voice, as AT&T’s very own web-site confirms. Yet another individual who bought the e-mail wrote on the guidance discussion board that “I verified my cellphone supports 4G and Hd voice, which is what AT&T explained was needed. There are quite a few extra telephones than what they list that aid both of those 4G and High definition voice. Someone is possibly lazy, or lying.”

Appears like a rip-off, but AT&T employee says it’s serious

A single forum poster imagined the electronic mail is a “rip-off for confident” because “no calendar year-aged telephone is going to be out of the blue incompatible.” But the electronic mail was genuine. In another AT&T aid thread in which a customer asked these days if the electronic mail was a scam, an AT&T worker replied, “It truly is not a fraud. AT&T is shutting down 3G so phones that aren’t VoLTE suitable will never operate any more.”

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We contacted AT&T currently and will update this posting if the corporation solutions our thoughts.

The dilemma evidently arrives down not to no matter whether the cell phone by itself has the technology to help Hd Voice but no matter whether AT&T has “whitelisted” it. Android Law enforcement wrote that “AT&T only whitelists a compact range of handsets it directly sells to clients for 4G voice calling, and it appears like even equivalent non-provider phones will not always function with the carrier’s High definition Voice assistance, like the aforementioned Galaxy S10E. Relying on how lots of handsets are incompatible, this electronic mail may possibly have absent out to a significant total of subscribers.”

In the AT&T aid discussion board, a single purchaser wrote, “It is really really tone-deaf to urge people today to get a new mobile phone throughout an financial disaster. It’s also well worth noting that quite a few of the influenced phones (this kind of as my Nokia 6.1) assistance Hd Voice AT&T just hasn’t bothered to whitelist them.” The Nokia 6.1 works by using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, which supports Voice about LTE.

This AT&T webpage has a list of “Hd Voice-able devices that get the job done on our community.” The Galaxy S10E is just one of people equipment, but the Nokia 6.1 is not. The AT&T web-site also has a checklist of unlocked telephones that help High definition Voice, which yet again consists of the Samsung Galaxy S10E but not the Nokia 6.1.

“Upgrade or die!”

Another aid thread was began by a shopper who questioned why AT&T “explained to me that my telephone [a Google Pixel 3A Plus] is no extended suitable with AT&T.” The AT&T list of Hd Voice-capable devices includes the Pixel 3A and 3A XL, so this appears to be a purchaser who got an incorrect notification.

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Aside from the AT&T email apparently heading to people who shouldn’t have gotten it, the electronic mail by itself struck clients as complicated. A single customer complained that “the ‘Upgrade or die!’ e-mail was pretty much terribly formatted” and “essentially written content-free—one experienced to observe hyperlinks to get any more facts. When I foolishly tried out to comply with a website link it broke anyway, reinforcing the believed that the e-mail was bogus.”

The customer who referred to as AT&T “tone-deaf” mentioned that the alter “has been actually badly communicated” and supplied some commonsense suggestions for the provider, composing:

I hope AT&T will make factors improved by:

  • Clarifying that influenced units will continue to perform by way of February 2022.
  • Letting all devices that assist Hd Voice to use individuals characteristics on the AT&T network.
  • Updating the “Provide Your Possess Product” web page to make clear these constraints.

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