US phases out 2G & 3G networks: what now?


Leading American operators have decided to stop supporting the 2G and 3G networks in the US. These are AT&T and T-Mobile, which are ending this service at the end of February and in July 2022 respectively. During that period your best option is, on arrival in the US, to manually choose T-Mobile US as the roaming operator on your device. This means you can be sure you remain accessible, regardless of your GSM type. What else should you take into account? We explain it in three questions.

1. What about my tariff plan?

Orange Belgium has concluded VoLTE roaming agreements with AT&T and T-Mobile US. As a result, Orange can offer VoLTE and SMS over IP services to its customers in the US. All tariff plans that offer 4G services are compatible with VoLTE roaming. However, to be able to enjoy VoLTE roaming, you will have to activate the International Voice and Data Roaming Service and switch on data roaming on your compatible phone.


2. Is my smartphone compatible?

As of July, not every smartphone that previously functioned in the US will be usable. Only 4G phones and those with “VoLTE/SMS over IP in roaming” will still be able to make use of the roaming service in the US.

The vast majority of smartphones that have appeared on the market since 2017 support calls in VoLTE and SMS over IP in Belgium. For Android, however, only the more recent devices, about two years old, support VoLTE roaming in the US. For iOS (Apple devices) there are several older devices that are compatible. An overview of the compatible phones with VoLTE in Belgium and while roaming is available here

In any case, you will be able to roam in the US via T-Mobile's network with any device until July.


3. What about other countries and continents? 

Just as in the US, 2G and 3G networks will soon gradually be shut off in Asia. To be able to enjoy the best coverage and optimal services while roaming in these regions, you should use VoLTE and SMS over IP-compatible smartphones.


Going on a (business) trip soon? You will find more information about roaming with Orange or the tariffs at your destination on our international tariffs page.

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