If for some reason you are a Verizon customer with a 3G-only device then here is some news for you guys. The news that Verizon delays 3G shutdown comes from Light Reading. Light Reading reported that Verizon has backtracked its plans to turn off its 3G network. The 3G network was supposed to be shut down at the end of last 2020.
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.” This is good news for any customers who have been holding onto any older devices that lack 4G or even 5G. This is also welcome news for any customers who may be in an area where 3G is very prominent.
The change is different from Verizon’s plans from July 2019. In July 2019 Verizon spokesperson Howie Waterman confirmed the 3G network shutdown moved to 2020 instead of 2019. The decision gives customers more time to decide what they want to do.
Now the decision to shut down 3G started back in 2012 after Verizon launched its 4G network. Then in 2016 Verizon put out a hard date for the shutdown. This date was originally December 31, 2019. During 2018 the company ceased to activate any 3G devices to prepare for the shutdown of its 3G network.
Verizon delays 3G shutdown. No new concrete timeline
Now for a little bit of bad news. After Light Reading published their article, Verizon said that the company was working to shut down its 3G network as soon as possible. However, there is no timeline for when this will happen. King disputes any claims that Verizon will continue to operate its 3G network into the future.
However, the plan to shut down has been delayed multiple times. The shutdown could come anytime soon or it could be delayed. The exact plans are still a mystery at the moment. Verizon does want to hold onto as many of their customers as possible, including 3G customers.
Verizon could lose a sizeable amount of customers by shutting down its 3G network. In 2017 AT&T lost 4 million customers when it shut down its 2G network.
Verizon isn’t the only carrier with plans to shut down its 3G network. AT&T plans to do this in “early 2022”. T-Mobile does not have a specific timeline, but it will do it over the next several years. Shutting down 3G networks will hurt normal customers as well as businesses.
For example, any businesses that use 3G IoT services they too will be affected. A big example would be Toyota and its “Safety Connect” services here in North America. This will no longer work after November 1, 2022. If you are a 3G customer then for now you have some extra time. But that extra time could be an extra day or an extra year. Only time will tell.