Verizon to shut down 3G network by 2023

The logo of Verizon Wireless. (Graphic: The Desk)

Executives at Verizon said this week the mobile phone company expects to have its previous-generation 3G wireless network completely shut down by the beginning of 2023.

The date was first announced in an interview with the industry trade blog Mobile World Live on Monday.

Verizon was supposed to sunset its 3G network in 2019, and one year prior the company stopped selling 3G-only smartphones and hotspots. But the deadline came and went, with Verizon continuing to support 3G devices in a limited capacity all the while building out its 5G network.

“The network is still going to be shut down,” a Verizon executive told the website Light Reading last month. “But we’re working with customers to migrate them to 4G and want to make sure we continue to care for them.”

At the time, the executive, Kevin King, did not disclose a cutoff date. But this week, a different Verizon executive confirmed they’re shooting for January 1, 2023 as the final day of service for the company’s 3G network.

Verizon has already started telling some of its prepaid customers that their hardware will no longer be compatible if it does not support the company’s 4G LTE service. Straight Talk customers with a home phone plan were recently told to upgrade their base stations to one compatible with Verizon’s VoLTE standard, which is delivered over its 4G LTE network. Straight Talk was acquired by Verizon last year.

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