With the arrival of the New Year 2023, we have also bid farewell to the reliable 2G and 3G carrier networks of the past. As of New Year’s Day, you can no longer use your 3G phone or device on Verizon and T-Mobile, including Sprint’s carrier networks.
AT&T customers have already gone through this transition, as Ma Bell announced the shutdown dates for their legacy networks and sent letters to business clients regarding the sunset of the 3G and 2G networks last February. While it remains uncertain what will happen to IoT connections, such as the weather updates on your trusty old BMW, those still holding onto their 3G phones have found that they no longer connect.
Verizon’s 3G Network is Now Inactive
As of January 1, 2023, Verizon has officially shut down its 3G network. After December 31st, 2022, if you are a Verizon subscriber using a 3G (CDMA) or 4G device that does not support HD Voice (Non-VoLTE), your device will no longer be able to make or receive calls, send or receive text messages, or use data services. Up until Saturday, your device may have still been able to perform these functions, but that is no longer the case, according to Verizon:
“As previously communicated, Verizon is actively decommissioning our 3G CDMA network. We expect this process to be completed by December 31, 2022. This decommissioning effort affects 3G (CDMA) devices, 4G Non-VoLTE devices, and network extenders. As we near the completion of our decommissioning efforts, we want to ensure that our affected customers are aware of what this means for their Verizon service and the steps they can take to stay connected on our 4G LTE and/or 5G network.”
Verizon’s 2G Network Has Already Been Decommissioned
Don’t worry about Verizon’s 4G LTE network, as it will continue serving customers for many years to come. This network provides Verizon with a significant coverage advantage over other US carriers, so there is no need to switch to 5G phones just yet, unless you want the extra features that come with them, such as the upcoming Galaxy S23 series with Qualcomm Snapdragon X70 modem chips.
Will My 3G Phone Stop Working After Verizon Shuts Down?
Unfortunately, for the most part, yes. Devices that rely on CDMA connectivity, like making or receiving calls, will no longer function. When carriers shut down their respective 3G networks, they make it clear that devices without at least 4G capabilities will no longer have data or voice services. While some device features might still work, you won’t be able to connect to the network unless you upgrade to a newer device.
T-Mobile’s 2G Network Retirement
T-Mobile has yet to announce the retirement of its own legacy 2G GSM network. For now, they have only stated that “no date has been set” on their support pages. T-Mobile’s 2G (GSM, GPRS, EDGE) network still operates on the 1900 MHz spectrum and comes with a warning that voice and data services cannot be used simultaneously on 2G. Additionally, you can’t connect to the internet during a call.
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