All AT&T, Verizon, and Alltel Analog Cell Phones Will Stop Working after February

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All analog US cellular phones will stop working in just a few weeks, as US cellular services begin shutting down the analog cellphone networks, leaving all analog US cell phones dead in the water, and only digital cell phone networks in place. If you are reading this after February 2008, and your analog AT&T cell phones, Verizon cell phones, or Alltel cell phones doesn’t work any more, this is the reason. Again, this will only affect analog cell phones, so unless you have an analog cell phone, you don’t need to worry about it.

If you’re not sure whether your cell phone is analog or digital, here’s how you can easily tell, according to Cellular News: “If your phone is less than five years old, or has features like texting, Internet access or a built-in camera, it’s not analog.”


However, says Cellular News, “An unknown number of analog handsets are still in use. Carriers say it’s less than 1 percent of all U.S. cell phones. But with 250 million cell phones in use, that could still mean a million phones.”

If your cell phone is a “basic” cell phone, and doesn’t allow for things like texting, you may well have one of those estimated one million analog phones still in use.

People most likely to still be using analog cell phones are those who carry a phone around just for those rare occasions that they may need a cell phone, people who carry a phone only in case they need to call 911, or those who have received a cell phone through a donation program.

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In particular, those who carry a cell phone only to call 911 may be most at risk, as they are the least likely to realize that they have an outdated phone, and the most likely to suffer a serious consequence when that analog phone doesn’t work when they most need it to – when trying to call 911.

So, even if you have the latest up-to-date digital cell phone in your purse or pocket, take a moment to think about all of your friends and relatives – usually it’s grandparents, or older parents or friends or relatives who may be carrying a cell phone ‘only for emergencies’. If you know somebody like that, let them know to check what type of cell phone they have, and if it’s an analog cell phone, it’s time to trade it in – before they need it!

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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7 thoughts on “All AT&T, Verizon, and Alltel Analog Cell Phones Will Stop Working after February

  1. Well – here it is June 23, 2012 and my verizon 5200 analog still works in my area where I cannot get verizon digital anyway. lol

  2. I thought all cell phones called 911 whether they were in service or not? I guess if there were no towers it couldn’t work… I dont know enough about this all to say. Anyone?

  3. How about the Analog towers in the Gulf of Mexico. Are they getting shut down. I read a article that AT&T just signed a multi million dollar deal with a company out here and they all use Analog. AT&T gets full bars where I with Sprint get nothing. Not signing a new contract waiting to see what Happens in February………

  4. Many analog towers are still in use across the rural west, and you can’t get any other service in some places….don’t be so quick to trash your analog cell phone if you travel in the country.

  5. I think it’s very unlikely you would have an analog phone and not know it. Where the hell would you get a battery for a 10-year-old phone? They all used Ni-MH cells back then, which only have a life of 2-3 years whether you use them or not.

  6. yeh sure. great. and what happens to the frequency used by analog? No doubt it will be sold off for some other use. It must the FCC lookin out for all of us as usual. Right? sure.

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