3G is being phased out by all of the phone companies. Early Kindles used the 3G network to update their Kindles. When the network disappears, internet updating will no longer be possible.
However, the alarmist tone in this article is inappropriate as these Kindles can still be updated by occasionally attaching them to their computer with a cable and transferring new content physically rather than over the internet. For the cost of a cable, you’re fine.
Nonetheless, if you have an ancient Kindle you may want to take advantage of Amazon’s upcoming Prime Days on June 21-22 when the most popular Kindle, the Paperwhite, will undoubtedly be substantially reduced from its usual $129.99. The least expensive model will also be reduced from its $89.99.
If you don’t catch a sale, you can generally get 20% off by simply trading in your current Kindle.
Kindle 3G e-readers will stop working in 2022
June 8, 2021 By Michael Kozlowski
Amazon offers two different variants of Kindle e-readers for internet access, WIFI and a cellular model. One of the benefits a cellular connection allows for the purchase of audiobooks and ebooks outside of a wireless access point and customers don’t have to pay for monthly access. The vast majority of Kindle readers only support the 3G network in the United States and around the world. Starting in 2022, millions of Kindles will no longer be able to access the Amazon Bookstore. This is because all of the major telecommunication carriers will be shutting down their networks next year. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon have announced it at various points in 2020 and 2021
The carriers have all publicly stated that they need to re-use the spectrums grow new their 5G networks and provide faster, more responsive technology for their customers. Old 2G/3G infrastructure must make way for new networks, and this means older cellular devices will no longer be viable and must be retired.
Amazon does business with a number of carriers for their 3G internet access, depending on what region and country the customer lives in. The carriers have announced different dates, when their network will officially shutdown. Verizon will shutter their 3G network at the end of 2020, T-Mobile is expected to sunset their 3G networks by the end of 2021, Sprint 3G networks will be shut down in December of 2022 and AT&T said that on February 22, 2022, their 3G networks are kaput.
Any Amazon Kindle made before 2017 only has 3G internet access, which accounts for pretty well every single Kindle ever made. More recent models with 3G include the first and second generation Kindle Oasis, Kindle Voyage and Kindle Paperwhite 3. Anything made after 2017, has 4G internet access, but the number of devices are small and only include the latest generation 10th generation Kindle Basic, Kindle Paperwhite 4 and Kindle Oasis 3. So next year, only 3 models will be able to access the Kindle Bookstore and Wikipedia on a cellar connection.
This whole situation is a serious blow to anyone who spent the extra money to buy digital content while on the go. Some Kindle models cost over $150 extra for a 3G internet connection. Luckily, most Kindles have wireless internet access, so it is possible to buy ebooks or borrow free content from Prime Reading or paid subscription platforms such as Kindle Unlimited. There is only a handful of older Kindle e-readers that do not have WIFI, and most of them aren’t in service anymore. This includes the first and second generation Kindle and the Kindle DX.
If you live in a first world country, there is no shortage of WIFI access points, whether a customer has a network in their home or a local coffee shop. Many 2nd and 3rd world countries simply do not have access to WIFI, so hundreds of millions of customers will suddenly find themselves unable to access Amazon in 2022.