Verizon will shut down its 3G network at the end of 2022

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Angela Lang/CNET

The end of Verizon’s 3G network is near, for real this time. After announcing in January that it would delay the shutdown date for its now two-generations old wireless service, on Tuesday the nation’s largest carrier revealed in a post on its website that it will be finally shuttering the service at the end of next year. 

“We will turn off the last of the 3G CDMA network on Dec. 31, 2022, months after our competitors have shut off their networks completely,” says Mike Haberman, Verizon’s vice president of network engineering. He says that this new date “will not be extended again,” adding that the company is “communicating this again now in order to provide customers plenty of time to complete their migration.”

After working with customers who still relied on the aging network, Haberman says that “99%” of its users are “using the enhanced features of 4G LTE or 5G, with less than 1% still accessing the 3G network.”

Verizon first announced plans to close its 3G network back in 2016, with a target for shutting down the service in 2019. It reiterated that plan in 2018 when it announced that it would no longer be activating phones that could only connect to 3G networks

Although it was aiming to shut down the network two years ago, the company told Light Reading in 2019 that it would push off the plan to the end of 2020. This past January it revealed that it would keep the network on for now. 

With the rise of 5G, carriers are beginning to sunset older technologies to devote resources to the latest iterations of their respective wireless networks. AT&T previously announced that its 3G network will remain online until next February, while T-Mobile told Light Reading in January that it would turn off its 3G network “over the next several years,” though it didn’t provide an exact timeline. 

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