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(Pocket-lint) - If you've got an older 3G-enabled Amazon Kindle, it might be time to order a replacement. That's because some early Kindles couldn't connect to Wi-Fi and so will soon start to lose their 3G capability as those networks are turned off, starting from December in the US according to Amazon.

Amazon is clear though that already downloaded content will remain available, while if you really wanted to get content onto one of those earlier devices in future you could via the micro USB cable.


The issue affects the first Kindle (1st and 2nd Generation) and Kindle DX (2nd Generation). If you've got a 3G capable device other than those you'll still be able to connect it up via Wi-Fi, but the cellular side of things will no longer function. And that applies to some more expensive models such as the earlier 2016 version of the Kindle Oasis which will effectively be Wi-Fi only in the near future.

Amazon is offering affected customers a discount on a new generation Kindle as a sweetener and you can trade in any Kindle device as part of a new purchase. 

3G networks will be turned off in the US and UK over the next couple of years as 4G and 5G coverage becomes more widespread. The spectrum occupied by 3G networks will be used for newer networks. 

All the US networks are planning on switching off 3G during 2022, while the only date we have for the UK is 2023 for EE/BT. Vodafone said back in 2019 it would do it within 2-3 years, but no timescale has appeared since. 

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Writing by Dan Grabham. Editing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 30 July 2021.