Back in January, Verizon confirmed that it would be delaying its planned shutdown of its 3G network. And now the company has confirmed when it actually plans to go through with it.
Verizon Wireless launched its 4G network technology way back in 2012. Ever since then, the company has had a plan to shut down its 3G network. However, with it being such a legacy network and basically being a fallback in certain regional locations, there apparently hasn’t been a great time to do it. Verizon’s delay earlier this year was actually after it planned to shut down the 3G network by the end of 2019.
Today, Verizon announced that it will (probably, maybe) shut down its 3G network by the end of 2022. Cutting it down to the wire, actually, with Verizon saying the 3G network will wind down by December 31, 2022. Once this happens, it means that Verizon’s 3G CDMA network will no longer be available for customers.
From today’s announcement:
We worked for the past several years to help those who still have 3G devices transfer to devices capable of accessing the 4G LTE or 5G networks and continue to actively work with remaining 3G customers to migrate them to new devices and technology. As a result of those efforts, we can now report that more than 99% of our customers are using the enhanced features of 4G LTE or 5G, with less than 1% still accessing the 3G network.
We’ve already communicated to customers that we are no longer allowing devices that are not 4G LTE capable to be activated on our network, so the focus now is the smooth migration of the remaining 3G devices in the market onto 4G LTE or 5G capable products and services. Additionally, we’ve already developed migration plans with most of our business customers to ensure any 3G devices they have in vehicles and equipment have been migrated to 4G LTE or 5G technology as soon as possible.
Verizon’s announcement today says that customers still using a 3G device should switch as soon as possible. The wireless carrier notes that those customers may experience degraded service over time, or even a complete loss of service, as the expiration date on the network technology nears.
We will turn off the last of the 3G CDMA network on December 31, 2022, months after our competitors have shut off their networks completely. The date will not be extended again. We’re communicating this again now in order to provide customers plenty of time to complete their migration.
So, something to be aware of. Verizon has been pushing hard on its 5G network ever since it went wide at the end of 2020.