August 11, 2020

Non-VoLTE devices on T-Mobile’s network will get kicked off in January

T-Mobile VoLTE supported phones will be required for new activations on August 4, and current users will be cut off in 2021.

T Mobile logo on phone stock photo

  • A leaked internal document reveals plans by T-Mobile to phase out the use of phones without VoLTE support.
  • No new devices without VoLTE will be able to be activated on T-Mobile’s network starting August 4.
  • Current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers with those phones will no longer be able to use them starting in 2021.

As wireless carriers slowly but surely increase their support for 5G networks, older network technology will be closed down. That includes T-Mobile. An indication of that transition was leaked today by Android Police, via a company document by the carrier that shows it will slowly phase out the use of phones without Voice over LTE (VoLTE) support.

The document shows that starting August 4, T-Mobile will no longer sign up any phones on its network without VoLTE support. If your phone is already on T-Mobile or Metro by T-Mobile‘s networks, and it doesn’t support VoLTE, you’ll only be able to use it for several more months. The leaked document shows that those phones will continue to work until January 2021. It’s not clear if Sprint customers will be affected by this move, nor if non-VoLTE phones on MVNOs that use T-Mobile’s network will be cut off as well.

A T-Mobile representative said:

We’re making great progress building a truly transformative nationwide 5G network. As part of that, we will be phasing out some older technologies over time to free up even more capacity for LTE and 5G. In preparation for that and to give customers the best experience, those activating new lines at T-Mobile will need a VoLTE capable device, which is all we’ve offered for years now and represents the overwhelming majority of devices on the network.

T-Mobile’s document does say that users without VoLTE support should see some text messages very soon from the carrier informing them their phone won’t work anymore 2021. There’s no word on just how many customers will be affected by this change, but it’s likely to be a small fraction of T-Mobile’s total customer base.

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