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
21 months 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
21 months 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
21 months 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
21 months 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
21 months 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
21 months 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)

Related Stories

verizonlogo

Verizon Shutting Down 3G Network on December 31, 2022

Tuesday March 30, 2021 10:53 am PDT by
Verizon is planning to shut down its 3G network at the end of 2022, effectively ending 3G support, the company announced today. Verizon has pushed back the sunsetting of its 3G network several times now, but it sounds like a concrete end date has finally been established. We will turn off the last of the 3G CDMA network on December 31, 2022, months after our competitors have shut off their...
the new imac g4 feature

iMac G4 With Revolutionary Floating Display Announced 20 Years Ago Today

Friday January 7, 2022 8:55 am PST by
Today marks the 20th anniversary of Apple announcing the iMac G4. Unveiled on January 7, 2002, the iMac G4 featured a unique design with a flat-screen panel mounted on an adjustable arm and a hemisphere base housing the computer's internal components. Nicknamed the Lamp or Sunflower, the iMac G4 was innovative for its time as an all-in-one computer with a flat screen that can be moved around ...
bt logo

BT to Expand 5G to Entire UK by 2028 Using Drones, Satellites, and Portable Cells, Will End 3G Service by 2023

Wednesday July 14, 2021 7:10 am PDT by
The British network carrier BT has today announced that EE will offer 5G connectivity anywhere in the UK by 2028 as the company set out its plans for the future. 3G services offered by EE, BT Mobile, and Plusnet will be phased out by 2023, by which time the company will have built a new 5G core network. 3G usage has been in steady decline in recent years, now representing less than two...
iPhone 12 Most Popular Feature

Apple Maintains 5G Market Lead in Q1 2021 Despite Vivo and Samsung Gains

Thursday June 17, 2021 3:28 am PDT by
Apple shipped an estimated 40.4 million iPhone 12 devices during the first quarter of 2021, according to new data shared by Strategy Analytics. The figure suggests Apple has maintained its grip on the global 5G smartphone market, despite indicating a 23% dip compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, when Apple shipped 52.2 million units. Apple enjoyed booming sales in the 5G market in the...
apple developer app feature

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 Developer Tool Can More Heavily Prioritize 5G Versus Wi-Fi Connections

Wednesday August 11, 2021 1:54 pm PDT by
Apple today released a new developer tool that is designed to force devices running iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 to prioritize a 5G connection over a WiFi connection when on an insecure WiFi network or when a WiFi connection is slow. 5G devices running iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 can automatically prioritize connecting via 5G instead of WiFi when the performance of WiFi networks you visit occasionally is...
iphone 5g mmwave

U.S. Airlines Warn of 'Catastrophic' Crisis With Impending 5G Rollout, AT&T and Verizon Agree to Delay Around Airports

Tuesday January 18, 2022 10:35 am PST by
Verizon and AT&T's upcoming rollout of new C-Band 5G technology could cause chaos and lead to widespread delays of passenger and cargo flights, major U.S. airlines said on Monday in a letter sent to the White House National Economic Council, the FAA, and the FCC (via Reuters). "Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially...
ATT new 2016 logo featured

AT&T Planning Expansion of 5G mmWave to Additional U.S. Airports By the End of 2021

Thursday July 15, 2021 12:58 am PDT by
AT&T is planning to bring its 5G mmWave technology to additional airports in the United States by the end of 2021, offering customers access to its "AT&T 5G+" service with faster speeds and lower latency. In a press release, AT&T says that by the end of 2021, it will have expanded its 5G mmWave technology, which requires more advanced infrastructure compared to typical sub-6GHz 5G, to an...
iphone 13 pro display shot

mmWave 5G on iPhone 13 Remains Limited to U.S. Models

Tuesday September 14, 2021 6:01 pm PDT by
While it was rumored by multiple sources that iPhone 13 models would support mmWave 5G in additional countries, it turns out that mmWave remains limited to iPhone 13 models sold in the U.S., as was the case with iPhone 12 models. Apple's cellular compatibility page confirms that only U.S. models of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro support mmWave 5G bands. In addition, on Apple's product pages ...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Predicted to Start With Increased 256GB Storage Alongside Rumored Price Increase

Wednesday August 10, 2022 11:14 am PDT by
Earlier today, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed iPhone 14 Pro models will be more expensive than iPhone 13 Pro models. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing, but he said that the average selling price of all four iPhone 14 models will increase by about 15% overall. While higher prices would be disappointing for customers, it is possible the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will offer increased...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
battery percentage ios 16

Here's Why the iPhone Battery Status Icon in iOS 16 Is So Controversial

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:34 am PDT by
In the latest iOS 16 beta, Apple has updated the status bar battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the exact percentage remaining rather than just a visual representation of battery level, and while the change has been largely welcomed, some users are unhappy with the way it has been implemented. In iOS 15 and earlier, battery percent has not been present on iPhones that have...
Apple Watch Body Temperature Finished

'High-Accuracy' Apple Watch Temperature Sensor Revealed by Patent Filing Just Weeks Before Series 8 Unveiling

Wednesday August 10, 2022 5:39 am PDT by
Apple has been granted a patent for a temperature sensor suitable for the Apple Watch, just weeks before the company is expected to unveil the Apple Watch Series 8 with body temperature sensing capabilities. The newly granted patent, spotted by MyHealthyApple, was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and is titled "Temperature gradient sensing in electronic devices."...