Earlier this year, AT&T said that it’s aiming to shut down its 2G network by the end of 2016. Now Verizon has revealed when its own 2G network will go dark.
Verizon has revealed that it plans to shut down its 2G CDMA 1X network by Dec. 31, 2019. The big red carrier explained to FierceWireless that wireless users typically upgrade their phones every 2.5 years, and so most of its CDMA 1X customers ought to be upgraded to a Voice over LTE (VoLTE) phone by 2019.
The CDMA 1X network is currently used by some of Verizon’s customers for voice calling. Verizon also notes that its CDMA 1X network is used by some machine-to-machine applications, but that it’s currently working with its M2M customers to move them to LTE.
Despite having a targeted 2G shutdown date of Dec. 31, 2019, Verizon does say that it would consider pushing CDMA 1X into 2020 if its customers need more time. “We will not abandon a single customers. We will work with each of the customers one-on-one,” said Verizon spokesman Chuck Hamby. “Should there be stragglers, we will continue to work with them.”
Verizon wants to decommission its 2G network and use that spectrum to beef up its 4G LTE coverage. There are still folks using that 2G CDMA 1X network, though, and Verizon wants to ensure that all of those customers have time to upgrade to a VoLTE phone, though, so it’s giving them another few years to make that move. At least now we’ve got a (tentative) date on which Verizon’s 2G CDMA 1X network will be decommissioned.