Amazon's Kindle e-readers with built-in 3G service will start losing Internet connectivity on their own in the US in December, according to an email sent to customers. The change is due to the transition of telecom companies from the older second and third-generation networks technology to the newer fourth and fifth-generation networks.
For older Kindle devices that do not have a wireless network, this change may mean that there is no Internet connection. Newer Kindle devices that support 4G networks will not have problems. But for older devices that shipped with 3G and wireless support such as Kindle Keyboard (3rd generation), Kindle Touch (4th generation), Kindle Paperwhite (4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th generation), Kindle Voyage (seventh generation), Kindle Oasis (fourth generation) Eighth), users can still use the wireless network only.
In its email announcement, Amazon confirms that you can still enjoy and download content you own through these devices. But you won't be able to download new books from the Kindle Store unless you're doing so over the wireless network. Things get even more complicated for older Amazon Kindle devices such as the Kindle (1st and 2nd generation) and Kindle DX (2nd generation).
Since these devices rely only on 2G and 3G networks, once the networks are shut down, the only way to get new content through your device is through an old-fashioned micro-USB cable. For customers affected by the shutdown, Amazon is offering a promotional credit (NEWKINDLE50) through August 15. That's $50 for the new Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle Oasis. Plus a $15 in-store credit for e-books.
While it can be argued that the company can do more to help affected customers. This problem is largely out of Amazon's control. All carriers have committed to different time frames for stopping older 2G and 3G networks. And taking this into account, it looks like the history of the Amazon in the month of December was premature.