Verizon is Replacing 3G Phones in Any Condition at No Cost. Service is Being Discontinued in December.

Joel Eisenberg

3G cell phone sales and service have already been discontinued by major providers, and Verizon will terminate theirs at the end of 2022.

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Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: Verizon.com, FCC.com, and CNBC.com.

Introduction

Earlier this month, Verizon Wireless announced they are discontinuing its 3G network for cell phones and replacing them with certain models at no cost.

This is a federally-monitored issue, as regulated cell phone companies are discontinuing 3G but Verizon was the most recent major entity to announce their cut-off, which is the end of 2022.

FCC.gov, the website of the Federal Communications Commission, addressed the issue in “Plan Ahead for Phase Out of 3G Cellular Networks and Service.”

As excerpted from the FCC report: If your mobile phone is more than a few years old, you may need to upgrade your device before your mobile provider shuts down its 3G network, to avoid losing service. For more information on your mobile providers' plans for 3G retirement and how you can prepare, contact your provider directly.

The report goes on to ask, “What is happening?” which provides an explanation of the move: Mobile carriers are shutting down their 3G networks, which rely on older technology, to make room for more advanced network services, including 5G. As a result, many older cell phones will be unable to make or receive calls and texts, including calls to 911, or use data services. This will affect 3G mobile phones and certain older 4G mobile phones that do not support Voice over LTE (VoLTE or HD Voice).

Medical devices utilizing the old technology, as well as home security systems, may also be impacted and are covered in the report.

Let us explore further.

How to Receive Your Replacement Phone

To the immediate answer, please contact your provider. Several companies have already discontinued 3G service this year, such as AT&T, which concluded its shutdown in February.

As to the 2022 schedule of 3G being discontinued for other phone companies, the FCC states the following on their webpage:

  • Verizon announced that will finish shutting down its 3G network by December 31, 2022.
  • T-Mobile announced that it will finish shutting down Sprint's 3G CDMA network by March 31, 2022 and Sprint's 4G LTE network by June 30, 2022. It also announced it will shut down T-Mobile's 3G UMTS network by July 1, 2022, but has not yet announced a shutdown date for its 2G network.

The site adds: If your mobile carrier is not listed here, you may still be affected. Many carriers, such as Cricket, Boost, Straight Talk, and several Lifeline mobile service providers, utilize AT&T's, Verizon's, and T-Mobile's networks. Note: These are dates for completing the shutdowns. Carriers may begin retiring parts of their networks sooner.

Therefore, it is strongly advised to contact your company imminently if you are unsure.

For additional information, earlier this month CNBC.com published “Verizon’s Giving Free Phones to People Who Are Still Using its Old Network,” which states: Verizon is sending free 4G flip phones to customers who are still using the company’s older 3G network, which it plans to retire by the end of 2022, according to the company’s support page. Verizon’s issuing the devices to people who haven’t yet upgraded to a 4G LTE phone. Anyone on the older network won’t be able to place or receive phone calls after Verizon shuts it down. According to its website, customers will receive an Orbic Journey V, a TCL FLIP Pro or a Nokia 2720 V Flip. Those devices are priced at about $80 and have one or two-star customer reviews.

The free replacements are not top-shelf, though they will work on the company’s current networks.

Conclusion

If you are a Verizon customer but are unsure of the model and network of your phone, contact Verizon customer service at the phone number on your bill, and they will instruct you from there.

If you are not with Verizon, contact your provider imminently to be sure you are up-to-date.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

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