Have you heard about the changes coming to your friendly neighborhood phone service provider? It appears that all of the major carriers will be discontinuing access to their network from ANY phone that is not 4G in the coming months to years. See the graphic below showing the schedule by major carrier. Additionally the minor carriers such as Ting and Cricket etc, will have similar sunset policies. Since they pay the major carriers to use their lines, they are forced to follow their requirements as well.
If you currently have anything less than a 4G phone (whether smartphone or dumbphone) reach out to your carrier. They can confirm what speed your wireless internet access is currently, and whether they’ve determine the final date for sunset. If you are preparing to purchase a new phone, we would recommend getting 4G now! They do make new flip phones that are 4G, but they are more expensive than the older or refurbished models that you might have started your child on.