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Verizon Communications Inc.’s (NYSE:VZ) 3G Network Is Not Going Away Soon Despite Decommissioning Plans

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is delaying its 3G network shutdown and consumers using the network have some time to use the network. The carrier had previously indicated that they will shut down Verizon 3G network at the end of last year as the shift to newer technology that includes 4G LTE and the latest 5G network continues.

Verizon delays shutdown of 3G service

The company’s spokesperson Kevin King indicated that for years Verizon has told the public that they will be decommissioned 3G networks but up to now the network is still operational. King said that all the company’s data traffic currently runs on a 4G LTE network as Verizon actively works to decommission the 3G network. He added that they are encouraging consumers still on the 3G network to migrate to the latest technology.

The decommissioning of 5G is something Verizon has contemplated for years following the big shift to 4G in 2021 after the launch of the iPhone 5. The company commenced the decommissioning process in 2014 after it started reallocating spectrum to the 4G LTE network. Analysts predicted at the time that by 2018, 3G will be gone.

Verizon working on decommissioning 3G network

Verizon has delayed the shutdown before having initially planned to shut it down by the end of 2019 but at the time the company told Light Reading that they were pushing it to the end of 2020. Interestingly, for now, the company has not given a clear date on when they will shut down 3G but the carrier says that is working on decommissioning the network as soon as possible but at the same time it will continue taking care of its customers.

The company stopped activating new 3G devices three years ago and in 2020 it added limitations on the 3G network including not allowing customers to activate their 3G device on an existing line. It also stopped supporting roaming of 3G devices outside the US and in 2021 it will not be supporting 3G devices troubleshooting. The company has not indicated how many customers still rely on the 3G network.

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