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Verizon says it will shut down its 3G network — for real this time — on December 31st, 2022

Verizon says it will shut down its 3G network — for real this time — on December 31st, 2022


The network has been living on borrowed time since 2019

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A picture of the Verizon name logo with an overlapping pattern of the red checkmark logo in the background.
Verizon stopped activating phones on its 3G network several years ago.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

After years of delays, Verizon says it will finally shut down its 3G CDMA network at the end of 2022 — and the company means it this time.

Verizon initially targeted 2021 for the shutdown and later revised with a more ambitious goal of 2019. That didn’t happen, and as recently as January 2021, the company said the plan was on hold indefinitely. Now, Verizon has confirmed an official shutdown date of December 31st, 2022, and a statement that “the date will not be extended again” on the company’s news site leaves no room for ambiguity.

This move won’t affect anyone who has activated a phone with Verizon in the past few years; the company stopped activating 3G-only phones in 2018. Verizon is also keen to point out that it will be the last major US carrier to take its 3G network offline. AT&T says it will shut down its network in February 2022, and T-Mobile is aiming for January 1st, 2022, which could cause serious problems for millions of Dish Network’s Boost Mobile customers.

Verizon stopped activating 3G-only phones in 2018

If you happen to still be using a 3G device on Verizon at this point (well done, you!), then you’ll need to upgrade to something 4G-compatible by the end of 2022 to keep using the network — and it might be a good idea to go for a 5G device at this point just to stay ahead of the next curve.