As we start moving towards a future where 5G is the new standard in mobile connectivity, it means that carriers will need to free up more spectrum. This means that older networks such as 3G will eventually be shutdown. However, the (somewhat) good news for Verizon customers is that the company is apparently holding off on shutting down its 3G network indefinitely.
In a statement made to Light Reading, Verizon spokesperson Kevin King told the publication, “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.” The carrier had previously planned to shutdown its 3G network by the end of 2019, but they later changed it to 2020.
Obviously that did not happen and now based on this statement, it seems that Verizon’s plans have been put on hold. The company had been saying for years that they were planning to sunset its 3G networks, such as way back in 2012 at the launch of 4G. It has been speculated that the delay could be due to the number of customers who are still relying on 3G, and that portion is significant enough for the carrier to delay their plans.
As Light Reading points out, it was only in 2017, well after the launch of 4G, that AT&T finally shutdown its 2G network. That being said, this probably won’t affect non-3G users all that much, but is probably good news for those who still rely on 3G networks for connectivity.