As of February 2022, wireless carriers in the U.S. began phasing out their 3G/HSPA wireless network service in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Here are the latest updates on Bell’s roaming partners’ 3G/HSPA network discontinuance:
- AT&T discontinued its 3G/HSPA network service as of February 20221
- T-Mobile announced that its 3G/HSPA network service will be discontinued as of July 2022.2
1When the AT&T 3G/HSPA network is discontinued, customers will have access to T-Mobile's 3G/HSPA network (or another available roaming partner in the U.S.) until it has been discontinued.
2After T-Mobile discontinues service, customers will continue to be able to roam in the U.S. where 3G/2G service is available on another roaming partner, but there is no guarantee of roaming coverage for impacted devices.
For questions regarding the 3G/HSPA service discontinuation in the U.S. or to upgrade your device:
3G/HSPA wireless network:
3G/HSPA refers to a third generation of wireless access standards that allows devices to connect to the Internet and to place and receive voice calls.
3G/HSPA was introduced in the early 2000s and has been followed by 4G LTE and, most recently, by the newest generation of wireless standards, 5G.
Voice over LTE (VoLTE):
- Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is the next generation of voice calling, which enables faster call connection times and improved voice quality service.
- VoLTE capable smartphones will enable you to make and receive calls when in a 4G LTE coverage area.
If you have an older 4G LTE device, you may need to update your device software.
As a Bell Mobility customer travelling to the U.S., your device must support 4G LTE data, Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and VoLTE roaming in order to make and receive voice calls in the U.S. after the 3G/HSPA service discontinuation dates.
Note: service on Bell’s network is not affected. You can still use your phone as normal when you’re in Canada.
Depending on your device type, the following services will be affected:
- Voice (including emergency calls to 9-1-1) and data services will no longer be supported on AT&T and T-Mobile starting as of the discontinuation dates
- Data services (e.g. connecting to the Internet, using mobile apps and email) will no longer be supported on AT&T and T-Mobile starting as of the discontinuation dates Impacted devices include (but are not limited to) those listed in this PDF: Impacted 3G/HSPA-only devices (PDF 59.58 KB)
4G LTE devices
- Voice services (including emergency calls to 9-1-1) will no longer be supported on AT&T and T-Mobile starting as of the discontinuation dates
- Data services (e.g. connecting to the internet, using mobile apps and email) will continue to be supported when in 4G LTE network coverage on AT&T and T-Mobile (standard roaming data charges apply)
Impacted devices include (but are not limited to) those listed in this PDF: Impacted 4G LTE devices (PDF 54.4 KB)
4G LTE (with VoLTE roaming capability)
- No impact on data services or voice calling when in 4G LTE network coverage on AT&T and T-Mobile (standard roaming charges apply)
To continue roaming in the United States, we recommend you switch to a VoLTE roaming compatible device with Bell Mobility.
Emergency calls to 9-1-1 will no longer be supported on AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s 3G/HSPA network after the 3G/HSPA service discontinuation dates.
Voice calls, including 9-1-1 calls, will be supported on AT&T and T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network on Bell Mobility devices that support both VoLTE and VoLTE roaming.
The AT&T and T-Mobile 3G/HSPA network service discontinuation should not impact your ability to use your device’s Wi-Fi capabilities when connected to a Wi-Fi network.
How do I access VoLTE on my VoLTE roaming compatible device?
Some devices will default automatically to having the 4G LTE and VoLTE service selected. However, on other devices you may need to ensure that the 4G LTE and VoLTE services are set to on.
How do I know if I’m on AT&T or T-Mobile’s 3G/HSPA network when roaming?
Near the battery icon on your device’s display there will be a 3G/HSPA network identifier.
How can I tell if I have a 3G/HSPA-only device or a 4G LTE device that supports VoLTE?
There are a number of ways to determine what network standards your device supports.
- In your device settings, look for your mobile network connection details. Depending on your device and the applicable operating system, you should see a list of the network connection types your device supports.
- You can check the specifications for your device on your device manufacturer’s website or device documentation to see what network connections it supports and whether it also supports VoLTE.
- Check the network compatibility of your device.
- Check devices that are VoLTE roaming compatible.