As wireless networks continue to roll out 5G coverage across the globe, many have also announced that they’re pulling the plug on their aging 3G networks… even though there may still be many customers continuing to use phones and other mobile devices that rely on those networks.

But maybe some of those plans were a little premature. Verizon had announced it would end support for 3G by the end of 2020. But at the start of the new year, the folks at Light Reading noticed that the US wireless carrier’s 3G service is still up and running.

AT&T was already taking a more cautious approach. That carrier doesn’t plan to shut down its 3G network until February, 2022. And according to Verizon blog post dated December 4, 2020, it looks like Verizon may now be waiting even longer than that – the company says its 3G service will “sunset for commercial and government fleet customers will come at the end of 2022.”


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7 replies on “Lilbits: 3G isn’t dead yet”

  1. Need to be noted that many millions of devices are still on CDMA including those used by many US govt agencies.

    1. Wish the US still had ubiquitous 2G. In rural America, my phones all chew through battery getting crappy reception on 3G (and it’s progressively worse on 4G).

  2. AT&T is sending scary emails to some of their customers saying they must update their phones to 5G capable phones because previous generation will be phased out. Only in the fine print does it say 3G is the generation being phased out.

    1. Well, keep in mind that just because your phone can do 4G LTE, that doesn’t mean you won’t be screwed when they shut down the 3G network.
      Your phone will also need to be able to do VoLTE, which most LTE phones can, but not really old ones.
      I guess if talking on the phone isn’t important to you, then it won’t matter.

      1. Your phone will also need to be able to do VoLTE
        Need? OK, I’m not in America so what do I know, but it seems more like a want to me. From the perspective of the rest of the world.

  3. I am a Verizon customer. When I drive from Boston to Miami on I95 I get 4G about 20% of the time, nothing 10% of the time and 3G service 70% of the time. Maybe the real answer here is that Verizon does not have much 4G coverage outside of urban areas and if they turn 3G off large areas will have no service.

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