Verizon Again Delays Plans to Shut Down 3G Network

Verizon does not plan to shut down its 3G network in the near future, a Verizon spokesperson told Light Reading this week (via The Verge). "Our 3G network is operational and we don't have a plan to shut it down at this time," said the spokesperson, who also added that Verizon will "work with customers to move them to newer technology."

verizonlogo
Verizon's decision to leave its 3G network functional is a deviation from plans that have been in the works for years. In 2012 after launching 4G technology, Verizon said that it would eventually discontinue 3G service.

In 2016, Verizon said that it would shut down its 3G network on December 31, 2019, and it stopped activating 3G phones in July 2018. Though promising to end 3G connectivity in 2019, Verizon ultimately delayed until the end of 2020 to give impacted customers more time to figure out their plans, but now it seems Verizon will continue to make its 3G network available alongside its 4G and 5G networks.

It's not clear why Verizon has opted not to shut down its 3G network, but Light Reading speculates that it could still have a significant number of customers using the 3G technology. Many Internet of Things devices rely on 3G connectivity, such as in-car connected safety features.

Verizon competitor AT&T plans to shut down its 3G network in early 2022 to bring customers "faster speeds and new features." T-Mobile told Light Reading that it plans to shut down 3G over the "next several years" but timing has not yet been shared. T-Mobile will, however, begin requiring phones on its network to support VoLTE by January 31, 2021, which will make some devices incompatible with the T-Mobile network going forward.

Tag: Verizon

Top Rated Comments

oneMadRssn Avatar
1 week ago


It's time to shut down 2G and 3G networks and move to fully packet switched (IP) networks i.e. 4G/LTE and 5G NR. That spectrum is wasted by keeping these networks alive and results in a worse overall service. A second hand 4G VoLTE phone can be bought for very little money, whilst valuable spectrum is limited and could be far better used if repurposed.

I agree, but people need to understand it's not about consumer cellphones. A lot of legacy devices rely on 2G/3G, which are expensive to replace but critical infrastructure or related to safety.

A few notable examples: elevators, ATMs, security systems. Indeed, related to current events, I wouldn't be surprised if lots of industrial refrigerators being used to store the vaccine have alarms to warn of the temperature rising above a threshold in the event of a power outage that rely on 2G/3G.

I'm all for shutting down 2G and 3G, but we need to make sure all these systems have been retrofitted or upgraded appropriately.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mcfrazieriv Avatar
1 week ago
Why would anyone shut down a network during a pandemic that serves the poorest of people when most people have 0 to no disposable income.

In other news, water is wet.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
827538 Avatar
1 week ago
It's time to shut down 2G and 3G networks and move to fully packet switched (IP) networks i.e. 4G/LTE and 5G NR. That spectrum is wasted by keeping these networks alive and results in a worse overall service. A second hand 4G VoLTE phone can be bought for very little money, whilst valuable spectrum is limited and could be far better used if repurposed.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ELman Avatar
1 week ago
Verizon needs to keep it running until VoLTE covers the same area. I still have areas where Verizon switches to 1x service.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
1 week ago
What they often do when phasing out technologies is they reduce the amount of spectrum allocated to the tech they are phasing out.

I'm betting Verizon has only a small sliver of bandwidth allocated to 3G/CDMA2000 these days, just like AT&T has a tiny sliver allocated to 3G/UMTS. They can even vary this by city and cell site.

So there isn't this massive amount of spectrum waiting to be freed up by killing 3G; this is just because the providers want to save money by no longer having to support their older networks.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneMadRssn Avatar
1 week ago


Agreed, but this was the whole point in announcing a shutdown years in advance so other options could be put in place like upgrading hardware to support 4G/5G or fixed line internet. If this was sprung on people with a months notice I would think it was ridiculous, but we've known about a shutdown for years and the writing has been on the wall for probably close to a decade.

What people don't realize is there's actually a huge difference between 2G/3G and 4G/5G and it is time to get rid of the former. I expect 4G to stay around for some time as it doesn't have the same cost/extra system complexity that maintaining a 2G/3G infrastructure does.

The question isn't notice, the question is who pays for it. Say the elevators in the empire state building currently rely on 2G for backup comms. The elevator company installed that module and arranged for a service plan with Verizon and Verizon understood it was for critical safety infrastructure and they charged a high rate accordingly, and now the Empire State Realty Trust now pays those bills to Verizon.

Verizon doesn't want to pay to upgrade those elevators, but neither does the elevator company nor Empire State Realty Trust. Empire State Realty Trust might pay for the upgrade if its included next time they have someone refurbish/replace the elevators, but that might not happen for decades. The elevator company has nothing to do with really, they delivered what was purchased and owe nothing. Plus, the elevator company and Empire State Realty Trust don't care about 2G/3G/4G/5G. It's a safety backup comm, the underlying tech makes no difference. As long as it works, that's all that matters. And they've been paying Verizon for a long time to make sure it works and keeps working. Really, it should be on Verizon to upgrade or subsedize the cost of making these upgrades because they have the most to gain from moving everyone over to 4G/5G.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
ipad pro 2021 mysmartprice cad

Allegedly Leaked 2021 iPad Pro CAD Images Suggest Few Design Changes

Tuesday January 12, 2021 3:38 am PST by
Tech blogs 91mobile and MySmartPrice on Tuesday posted a series of allegedly leaked factory CAD images of Apple's upcoming fifth-generation 11-inch iPad Pro. Rumors suggest Apple plans to announce two new iPad Pro models in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions, and today's images offer perhaps the clearest indication yet that Apple's next-generation iPad Pros will have minimal, if any,...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
mac anti reflective coating issue

Apple's Anti-Reflective Coating Repair Program Still in Effect for Some MacBooks With New Mail-In Policy

Tuesday January 12, 2021 10:07 am PST by
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple recently informed its network of Apple Authorized Service Providers that mail-in repair is now required for Mac notebooks with anti-reflective coating issues in the United States. The new policy went into effect January 4, 2021 and means that customers who take an eligible 12-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro exhibiting this issue to an Apple...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
whatsapp wallpapers 1

WhatsApp Affirms User Privacy Following Backlash Over Data Sharing With Facebook

Tuesday January 12, 2021 6:39 am PST by
Following backlash after changing its terms and privacy policy to consolidate a significant amount of data sharing with Facebook, WhatsApp is now assuring users about the privacy measures built into its app. Last week, WhatsApp began informing users of updates to the app's terms of service and privacy policy. The updated agreements, which users must consent to in order to continue using...
apple racial equity justice initiative propel center render 01132021

Apple Launches New Nationwide Racial Equity and Justice Initiative Projects

Wednesday January 13, 2021 4:08 am PST by
Apple today announced a set of new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color. Rendering of the Propel Center The projects include the Propel Center, a global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an Apple ...