AT&T announced earlier this year that they will be shutting down their 3G service in February of 2022.
That means that any AT&T devices that only work with 3G -- including the ZTE WF721 and WF720-- will no longer work after February of next year.
The 3G shutdown affects millions of Americans who rely on devices like the ZTE WF721 and WF720 to power their landline phones. As they shut down 3G, AT&T is also shutting down traditional copper wire phone service across the country.
The bottom line is, folks who want to continue using a landline phone will need to switch to a device and service plan that supports access to 4G and 5G coverage.
If you use the ZTE WF721 or WF720 or are considering purchasing one, read on to see how this shutdown will affect you, and most importantly, what you can do to prepare.
The ZTE WF721 and WF720 are wireless home phone bases that allows you to connect your landline phone to cell towers in your area.
The device works by inserting a sim card into a slot on the base. The sim card connects the device to 3G cell towers. The only set up required is to:
Once the device and your phone are plugged in, you will be able to make and receive phone calls to and from your landline phone with 3G cell service.
The device is portable, and will work anywhere you have power and cell service.
The ZTE WF721 and WF720 are being phased out because they only works on 3G networks. AT&T is shutting down their 3G network to make way for new investments in 5G.
AT&T (as well as most other carriers) has delayed the date of their shutdown, but it looks like this February will be the last nail in the coffin for 3G. According to AT&T, further delays “would impair AT&T’s 5G rollout and degrade network performance to the detriment of tens of millions of American consumers.”
The reason why the existence of 3G affects the rollout of 5G is because AT&T will be repurposing infrastructure currently in use for 3G to support 5G, rather than rebuild this infrastructure and continue supporting both.
AT&T has given a relatively broad date of “February 2022” for the when they will shutdown 3G nationwide. They have not given a specific day, yet.
On the day of the shutdown, the ZTE WF721/WF720 will stop working completely. You will no longer be able to make or receive calls through the device.
Because AT&T and other providers are also shutting down their copper wire landline service along with 3G, your best bet to continue using your landline phone is to purchase a device that connects your landline phone to 4G or 5G networks.
Although 5G is becoming the primary focus of providers like AT&T, they will continue to support 4G for at least another 10 years.
At Community Phone, we offer a device that works similarly to the ZTE WF721/WF720, but connects your landline phone to the strongest network available in your area (4G or 5G).
We also provide you with a sim card and the monthly wireless service that powers your connection.
The device -- or, the Landline Base -- is a one-time, up-front fee of $99. We’ll ship you the base for free within 5 - 7 business days.
Included with the base is a sim card, which connects the base to AT&T cell towers in your area. The cost of ongoing service is $39/month.
Once you have the device, simply plug the base into a power outlet, and plug your landline phone into a jack on the base.
That’s it. You’re ready to make and receive unlimited local and long distance calls within the United States.
The device does not require internet, and has a backup battery that keeps its charge for up to 10 hours. That means your phone will work during a power outage. (Cell towers still work during power outages due to backup generators.)
If you already have a landline phone, our device will almost certainly work just fine with it. You can also purchase a new landline phone with us, when you purchase your base.
We can set you up with a new, local number of your choosing, or transfer your existing number over to our service.
If you have any issues with transferring your number or getting your service set up, our customer support team is available by phone or email… without having to navigate a phone tree and sit on hold for hours.
And if you decide it’s not the right fit, you can cancel within 30 days for a full refund, and there are no contracts.
If you are using the ZTE WF721 or WF720, it will stop working before the Spring of 2022. Community Phone’s landline service is the best, most cost-effective alternative. Click here to learn more and get started today, or give us a call at 617-431-5887 to chat with a landline specialist.