3G hasn’t been the standard network option for years now, and Verizon itself hasn’t been activating 3G phones for quite some time. But that doesn’t mean the company is ready to shut down its 3G network just yet.
In a change of course, Verizon has confirmed to Light Reading (via The Verge) that it is delaying (yet again) shutting down its 3G network. The spokesperson said that Verizon does not “have a plan” to shut down the 3G service right now, and it appears that won’t be changing in the near future, either. LR says the delay to shut down the 3G network is indefinite at this stage.
In response to questions from Light Reading, Verizon spokesperson Kevin King said “our 3G network is operational and we don’t have a plan to shut it down at this time. We’ll work with customers to move them to newer technology.
Verizon Wireless launched 4G network technology way back in 2012. It was in 2016, though, that the Big Red wireless carrier confirmed that it would shut down its 3G service by the end of 2019. And in July of 2018 the company stopped activating 3G phones entirely.
However, as you know, Verizon didn’t shut down its 3G service at the end of 2019. Instead, it delayed that initial plan and pushed it back to sometime by the end of 2020. However, now that we’re in 2021 and the 3G network is still active, it appears Verizon’s not quite ready to let it go.
As it stands right now, Verizon appears to be prepared to keep its 3G network up and running along 4G and 5G. That’s what the other major wireless carriers are doing right now, but both AT&T and T-Mobile are planning on shutting down their own 3G networks at some point in the future as well. AT&T has confirmed it will shut down its 3G network in early 2022, and T-Mobile says its 3G network will be shut down sometime in the next several years, not quite nailing down a timeframe.