AT&T misled some of its customers by sending them emails to warn them that they will need to get a new phone because their current older handset will stop working on AT&T's voice and data network. However, the message is misleading because these handsets will continue to work for another 18 months or through 2022. Some of these phones have the technological capabilities to connect to the network even past 2022. AT&T has apologized, but now T-Mobile has something of a similar message to pass along to its customers.
that were obtained by AndroidPolice reveal that starting on August 4th, T-Mobile will require all new devices running on its network to support VoLTE (Voice over LTE). While subscribers of the wireless provider will still be able to use their non-VoLTE compatible handset for the rest of this year, starting in January 2021 those handsets will not work on T-Mobile's network.Internal T-Mobile documents
The document, written for T-Mobile's reps, says that customers with a non-compatible device will receive text messages suggesting that they buy a new phone with VoLTE capabilities. The document also says that T-Mobile reps should steer customers with a non-VoLTE phone to a new device from the carrier's current lineup. The carrier says that "the change benefits customers by ensuring that they are using a device that will provide them the best network experience on our nationwide 4G LTE and 5G networks."
The change not only affects T-Mobile subscribers, but it will also affect all of the MVNOs that use T-Mobile's network such as Metro by T-Mobile, Ting, Consumer Cellular, and Mint Mobile. Besides impacting older phones, some imported models from Huawei and Xiaomi don't offer VoLTE. The good news is that most unlocked phones do support T-Mobile's VoLTE even older models like 2013's LG G2.
There is some bad news and good news to report here. The good news is that all the phones in T-Mobile's current lineup support VoLTE. The bad news is that with unemployment rocking the U.S. thanks to the pandemic, those who have to decide between feeding their family or buying them a new phone from T-Mobile are going to select the former (almost) every time.