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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.jpg

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.

Article Link: Verizon Again Delays Plans to Shut Down 3G Network
 
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Return Zero

macrumors 6502a
Oct 2, 2013
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I don't know about anyone else, but this makes a lot of sense. When I had Verizon (up until just a few months ago), the LTE would get so congested, I could often get faster speeds by using 3G instead... hence the switch.
 
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kinless

macrumors regular
Apr 2, 2003
162
232
Tustin, California
That's hilarious. We were waiting for mom's old LG 3G-only flipper to be cut off any day, but it's kept on working, and now we see this! Guess we don't have to worry about buying her a new one right now. (She only uses it for talk, no text or web)
 
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827538

macrumors 68020
Jul 3, 2013
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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.
 

gordon1234

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2010
574
163
I don't know about anyone else, but this makes a lot of sense. When I had Verizon (up until just a few months ago), the LTE would get so congested, I could often get faster speeds by using 3G instead... hence the switch.
The thing is, those frequencies aren't going away. When 3G is shut down, it generally just means those same frequencies you're connecting to to get better service can be repurposed for 4G/5G connections, which should improve service for everyone.
 
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JPack

macrumors 604
Mar 27, 2017
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The pandemic has made Verizon's existing base of customers at risk. They've also slowed the rollout of 5G. Cutting off 3G now would be like burning both ends of a candle in terms of revenue.
 

zorinlynx

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May 31, 2007
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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.
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
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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.
 

Apple_Robert

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Sep 21, 2012
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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.
Verizon probably doesn't want to risk alienating those who still use 3G phones. It is better for the customer to transition versus Verizon pulling the plug and demanding action. The older generation doesn't take kindly to that kind of thing.
 

4jasontv

macrumors 601
Jul 31, 2011
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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.
This has nothing to do with helping the poor. 3G has a worse revenue cost ratio and they likely expect to convert that bandwidth into something more profitable. The most likely explanation is that projections suggest they will lose revenue if they attempt to transition right now.
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
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Temecula, CA
It's not clear why Verizon has opted not to shut down its 3G network
cost, cause they would have to upgrade those areas to LTE or 5G ...

I do mountain bike in a somewhat rural area, most of the area there is NO reception, and then there is in some spots 3G and I have to be ~ 3 miles away to get LTE, mind you that there is a small community in that vicinity, plus, there is an ecological part with a visitor center (currently closed) and pre-covid there were hundreds of people hiking on weekends, an, this is in CA. replacing 3G with LTE/5G would cost quite a bit and I'm convinced that's the reason ...

and whatever IOT or other services still rely on 3G should be replaced anyway, time to move on to the present/future
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
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Temecula, CA
Verizon probably doesn't want to risk alienating those who still use 3G phones. It is better for the customer to transition versus Verizon pulling the plug and demanding action. The older generation doesn't take kindly to that kind of thing.
so Apple can remove a headphone jack but Verizon will alienate people with 3G phones? They know EXACTLY how many are out there, they could incentivize those to upgrade, but that would cost money, Verizon is cheap ...
BTW, I do have VZW and there are still multiple spots across CA with 3G or no reception ...
 

827538

macrumors 68020
Jul 3, 2013
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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.
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.
 

Apple_Robert

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Sep 21, 2012
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so Apple can remove a headphone jack but Verizon will alienate people with 3G phones? They know EXACTLY how many are out there, they could incentivize those to upgrade, but that would cost money, Verizon is cheap ...
BTW, I do have VZW and there are still multiple spots across CA with 3G or no reception ...
Apple doing away with the jack has nothing to do with my comment or the article. Yes, Verizon is a penny pinching company but, so are the other companies.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,329
5,476
The day Verizon drops 3G, any iPhone 4 or 4S on it will stop working. The 4S hasn't been sold since September 2014...

They're not exactly ancient, but I don't know anyone still using a phone that old. The people who use the oldest phones I know of are my mom with a 5C and my mother in law with an SE (both are compatible with 4g... not that it matters since both of them use AT&T for a network.)
 

adamjackson

macrumors 68020
Jul 9, 2008
2,110
3,946
Thank goodness. that's all I have here. If they could replace our tower with 4G LTE that'd be great. Well technically I'm on a mix of 1x & 3g.
 

subi257

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2018
1,012
996
New Jersey
so Apple can remove a headphone jack but Verizon will alienate people with 3G phones? They know EXACTLY how many are out there, they could incentivize those to upgrade, but that would cost money, Verizon is cheap ...
BTW, I do have VZW and there are still multiple spots across CA with 3G or no reception ...
They could most likely give every one those people newer (at least 4G) phones for free and then shut down the 3g and still save money...
 
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technole

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Sep 22, 2017
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HSPA or EVDO 3G is mostly wiped out or just simply supported from customer electronics now, you'd be hard pressed to find many populated areas that are not on the minimum of 4G LTE currently at bare minimum. About five years ago, there was of ton of 3G dominance still.

People don't realize 3G utilizes band and spectrum. Look at the 600 Mhz band that was freed up for the likes of T-Mobile 5G once we pulled the plug on SDTV signals and forced everyone to HD bands.

For legacy devices still around, there are some OnStar car devices still on 3G. I imagine some home alarm emergency radios on ATT or Verizon 3G as well, but those can be upgraded with a card replacement or just replacing the home console.

Either way I fully support pulling the plug on 3G when it's feasible, free it up for more 5G and beyond. We got beyond 2G real easily.
 
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jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
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Temecula, CA
Apple doing away with the jack has nothing to do with my comment or the article. Yes, Verizon is a penny pinching company but, so are the other companies.
I'm sorry, that was a rant ...
just for giggles I tried to do a speedtest on cellular in my backyard just now, it failed with "check your internet connection", 1 bar signal, LTE - VZW, and I'm more than a mile away from the real outskirts.
Delaying and delaying plans is just an excuse, get it done VZW! I would switch, but I will never voluntarily give AT&T any of my earned money and TMobile has worse coverage than VZW ...
 

Apple_Robert

macrumors Penryn
Sep 21, 2012
28,965
36,979
In the middle of several books.
I'm sorry, that was a rant ...
just for giggles I tried to do a speedtest on cellular in my backyard just now, it failed with "check your internet connection", 1 bar signal, LTE - VZW, and I'm more than a mile away from the real outskirts.
Delaying and delaying plans is just an excuse, get it done VZW! I would switch, but I will never voluntarily give AT&T any of my earned money and TMobile has worse coverage than VZW ...
Are you in the midwest? I seem to recall Verizon has some areas with low to no coverage in the midwest. That may have changed, as it has been a few years ago since I looked.
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
4,199
11,763
Temecula, CA
Are you in the midwest? I seem to recall Verizon has some areas with low to no coverage in the midwest. That may have changed, as it has been a few years ago since I looked.
nope, in sunny Southern California ... there are quite a few "no coverage areas" for VZW across CA ...
 
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