Network operators tend to redefine common words and give them new meanings. “Unlimited” is not unlimited when it comes to data and “indefinitely” definitely has an end. To be fair, Verizon left the door open for the closure of its 3G network and is now officially warning remaining users of the old technology. Big Red is finally closing its 3G CDMA network in late 2022, three years after its initial plan.
Verizon has already said it would end its 3G services in 2019, in 2016. It may have thought it would earn extra points for being ahead and driving innovation, but instead it was criticized for cutting customers too early. She extended that deadline to 2020, but finally said that she had no plans as to when she would carry out this change.
Apparently, it only took two months to actually come up with a plan and is now announcing a deadline of December 31, 2022 for anyone who still uses 3G-only devices. With regard to smartphones, they are already quite rare, but some still exist. Verizon itself no longer accepts phones for activation that are not able to connect to 4G LTE networks.
That said, 3G devices still exist and Verizon promises to help 1% of its remaining customers on that network. For consumers it is easy, as they only need to upgrade to a new phone, even the cheapest 4G phone would. Business customers who have well-established systems around 3G devices, however, will not be so lucky.
Verizon has not missed an opportunity to boast that its programming is friendlier than its competitors, closing its 3G CDMA network months after them. T-Mobile will terminate its own network on January 1, 2022, while AT&T will do the same in February 2022.