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Thread: 3G emergency phones

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    3G emergency phones

    I'm sure many people carry around in their car, or have at home, a phone for 911 calls only, since every phone will call 911 without having a service plan. What happens to all the older VZ 3G phones being used this way? I guess they become useless after 12/31/2019 also, right? Unfortunately, these are the folks who will never get any notice from VZ. I guess all we can do is start asking around and telling people they need to replace their emergency phones with a 4G one.

    I see this as a really serious issue. Folks who are stranded, or threatened, after 12/31 and have a phone that is useless, could be in real trouble. Someone needs to start an information campaign.

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    Quote Originally Posted by idahoboy View Post
    I'm sure many people carry around in their car, or have at home, a phone for 911 calls only, since every phone will call 911 without having a service plan. What happens to all the older VZ 3G phones being used this way? I guess they become useless after 12/31/2019 also, right? Unfortunately, these are the folks who will never get any notice from VZ. I guess all we can do is start asking around and telling people they need to replace their emergency phones with a 4G one.

    I see this as a really serious issue. Folks who are stranded, or threatened, after 12/31 and have a phone that is useless, could be in real trouble. Someone needs to start an information campaign.
    They could get 911 from Sprint as long as Sprint is around with CDMA. That's not something I would want to bet my life on.

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    And AT&T 3G until 2021. Also see this which summarizes for all carriers https://www.multitech.com/documents/...rriers_PDF.pdf

    According to this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enhanced_9-1-1 "Many phones manufactured after 2005 have GPS receivers built in." This article speaks to enhanced 911, which not all jurisdictions have. I know the last two smartphones have had since 2015 do, but unsure all of the flip or CDMA phones have GPS receivers. https://www.phonescoop.com/ if use the search box i.e. LG Revere for all current and discontinued phones from any US carrier which if the phone has GPS Location, it will be listed as a feature. I have not done a 911 call from a cell phone, but others can perhaps chime in from experience. Since lives are involved here, hopefully experienced tech reps from the carriers or the manufacturers can share here to confirm.

    GPS is not expected to be taken down any time soon. Here are the FCC rules on it for 911 calls https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides...eless-services .

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    Quote Originally Posted by idahoboy View Post
    What happens to all the older VZ 3G phones being used this way? I guess they become useless after 12/31/2019 also, right? Unfortunately, these are the folks who will never get any notice from VZ. I guess all we can do is start asking around and telling people they need to replace their emergency phones with a 4G one.

    I see this as a really serious issue. Folks who are stranded, or threatened, after 12/31 and have a phone that is useless, could be in real trouble. Someone needs to start an information campaign.
    I very much agree about this being a very serious issue, and communication from Verizon is lacking so far - see https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...ustomers/page2 and post #26 in this thread for four ideas what Verizon can do cheaply - text messages, email, bill notices, and VZW portal. However, to reach other customers, TV (can see CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc. waiting until December 30) and word of mouth will be needed, and people will be missed; but Verizon really needs to try to reach 98-99%+ of its customers beforehand, because the stranding of customers will be a news PR news disaster.

    Verizon's announcement July 27, 2018 https://www.verizonwireless.com/supp...e-base-218813/ on the Internet not very Google searchable and came out during the middle summer when many on vacation and not following the news as closely. Likewise, the December 31, 2019 date, many people on holiday, Christmas, and New Years travel and miss that too. Also this happening at the end of December, people find out at last minute, Verizon Wireless stores already busy with holiday shoppers, and some could well likely run out of inventory of replacement phones.

    I shared with dozens of my email contacts, only one had already heard (he works for a corporation still using VZW CDMA). Because of a separate issue with this (the VZW network extender for weak 4G coverage in my area not allow whitelisting), I also raised above standard technical support which exhausted this and the CDMA retirement communication issue with VZW management contacts had, so they know. Hopefully, they will have a communication plan to customers affected during 4Q19 which they will follow through on. One can also the reach the VP of Verizon Wireless through this public website contact https://www.verizon.com/about/our-co...contact/870973

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    Quote Originally Posted by spurkcell View Post
    And AT&T 3G until 2021. Also see this which summarizes for all carriers https://www.multitech.com/documents/...rriers_PDF.pdf

    According to this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enhanced_9-1-1 "Many phones manufactured after 2005 have GPS receivers built in." This article speaks to enhanced 911, which not all jurisdictions have. I know the last two smartphones have had since 2015 do, but unsure all of the flip or CDMA phones have GPS receivers. https://www.phonescoop.com/ if use the search box i.e. LG Revere for all current and discontinued phones from any US carrier which if the phone has GPS Location, it will be listed as a feature. I have not done a 911 call from a cell phone, but others can perhaps chime in from experience. Since lives are involved here, hopefully experienced tech reps from the carriers or the manufacturers can share here to confirm.

    GPS is not expected to be taken down any time soon. Here are the FCC rules on it for 911 calls https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides...eless-services .
    That's not how it works. GPS does not provide voice communications. You have to have cell voice first. That is not going to happen from an old Vz phone to an AT&T cell.

    Sent from my moto g(6) using HoFo mobile app

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    I've been talking about this for many months with friends and family. No one was aware. The 911 issue is major especially for the elderly that continue to be sold 3g by Vzw MVNOs. I know there's people on here that just say that old people just need to get with the times and upgrade; or switch to a different carrier. May be true but it's hard to get with the times and upgrade when no one tells you clearly without reading a forum or googling. But then why google when you're totally unaware of something. Not everyone has a tech savvy child or friend watching out for them. Face it, even the overseas service reps at most companies are still clueless.

    Write your congress person and the news outlets. Maybe they'll do something useful for a change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by idahoboy View Post
    Unfortunately, these are the folks who will never get any notice from VZ.
    I doubt it. there will be people that IGNORE notices from Verizon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hagar View Post
    I doubt it. there will be people that IGNORE notices from Verizon.
    True, however the folks I'm really concerned about are the ones who have a VZ 3G phone for 911 calls only and no service contract. If they don't have a service contract with VZ then there is no way VZ can send them any communication, mail or email, that they can ignore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by idahoboy View Post
    True, however the folks I'm really concerned about are the ones who have a VZ 3G phone for 911 calls only and no service contract. If they don't have a service contract with VZ then there is no way VZ can send them any communication, mail or email, that they can ignore.
    Then that's not Verizon problem. maybe they should get an actual emergency line

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    Quote Originally Posted by idahoboy View Post
    I'm sure many people carry around in their car, or have at home, a phone for 911 calls only, since every phone will call 911 without having a service plan. What happens to all the older VZ 3G phones being used this way? I guess they become useless after 12/31/2019 also, right? Unfortunately, these are the folks who will never get any notice from VZ. I guess all we can do is start asking around and telling people they need to replace their emergency phones with a 4G one.

    I see this as a really serious issue. Folks who are stranded, or threatened, after 12/31 and have a phone that is useless, could be in real trouble. Someone needs to start an information campaign.
    It is not a smart decision depending on a deactivated phone to make a 911 call. You have no expectation that you will be able to make any phone calls including 911 on a non activated phone. Even if they have a non activated phone that supports VOLTE, I do not know if the network will allow VOLTE 911 calls with or without sim card.

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    Quote Originally Posted by idavenport90 View Post
    It is not a smart decision depending on a deactivated phone to make a 911 call. You have no expectation that you will be able to make any phone calls including 911 on a non activated phone. Even if they have a non activated phone that supports VOLTE, I do not know if the network will allow VOLTE 911 calls with or without sim card.
    What number shows up at 911 on a call from a phone without a SIM or non activated 3G CDMA phone? Any ability to call back if gets disconnected?
    iPhone 11 is my current primary phone. I have older model iPhones and Moto phones available on other lines. Currently prepaid, though would consider postpaid on right plan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevink1 View Post
    What number shows up at 911 on a call from a phone without a SIM or non activated 3G CDMA phone? Any ability to call back if gets disconnected?
    It would show no number and they have no abilty to call you back if you get disconnected. I do not know if they can even track the phone since their is no phone number.

    Sent from my SM-J337V using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by idavenport90 View Post
    It would show no number and they have no abilty to call you back if you get disconnected. I do not know if they can even track the phone since their is no phone number.

    Sent from my SM-J337V using Tapatalk
    Yes, they can get Phase II E911 location from an NSI (Non-Service Initiated) device. There just won’t be an ability to call them back.

    The ANI will usually display “NSI” or a default number.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hagar View Post
    Then that's not Verizon problem. maybe they should get an actual emergency line
    Quote Originally Posted by idavenport90 View Post
    It is not a smart decision depending on a deactivated phone to make a 911 call. You have no expectation that you will be able to make any phone calls including 911 on a non activated phone.
    You both have it wrong. Here's a quote from the FCC 911 FAQ page. https://www.911.gov/frequently_asked_questions.html
    All wireless phones, even those that are not subscribed to or supported by a specific carrier, can be used to dial 911. These uninitialized phones are often used to place malicious or fake calls to 911 call centers. These calls are a burden on the 911 system because they require the answering center to confirm whether or not an emergency truly exists.

    Oftentimes, parents provide these uninitialized wireless phones as toys to young children, unaware that if the child dials 911, a live call will be connected with the local 911 call center. If a child dials 911 when no emergency exists, do not hang up – that could make 911 officials think that an emergency exists, and possibly send responders to the location. Instead, simply explain to the call-taker what happened.
    From this page: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides...communications

    The FCC's basic 911 rules require wireless service providers to transmit all 911 calls to a PSAP, regardless of whether the caller subscribes to the provider's service or not.
    Since VZ is the one who is taking action to make the old 3G phones unusable they at least have an obligation to make that known to the public as widely as they can. Anyone who has a cell phone that can connect to an existing wireless signal can properly expect that phone to make a 911 call regardless of its subscription or activation status.

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    Quote Originally Posted by idahoboy View Post
    You both have it wrong. Here's a quote from the FCC 911 FAQ page. https://www.911.gov/frequently_asked_questions.html

    From this page: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides...communications


    Since VZ is the one who is taking action to make the old 3G phones unusable they at least have an obligation to make that known to the public as widely as they can. Anyone who has a cell phone that can connect to an existing wireless signal can properly expect that phone to make a 911 call regardless of its subscription or activation status.
    Once again you for some reason default to the idea that Verizon won't say anything. Instead on getting your bloomers in a bunch over something that might happen in 286 days why not give them some time. Even 90 days out is plenty of time

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