Continue to use Verizon 3G? You may get a new phone for free

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Unfortunately, 3G holdouts don’t get to choose their giveaway phones. A Verizon representative confirmed that the device they’ll receive will be chosen by the company. It also said to keep an eye out for any notifications from Verizon about the 4G phones. No word on how long it’ll take for the new devices to ship. Verizon noted that the old 3G cell-service contract will carry over to the new phone at no extra cost. There’s also the option of declining the phone. All you have to do is call customer service and tell them that you don’t want it.

The new phones will utilise the 4G LTE protocol, but individuals can reject the offer. On December 31, 2022, Verizon’s 3G CDMA network would be discontinued, but the carrier also said it would give out free phones to anyone who continued using the outdated connection type. These new phones(opens in new tab) are straightforward flip phones that operate on the existing 4G LTE network and aren’t particularly fancy. The Orbic Journey V (opens in new tab) (retail price: $99.99), the TCL FLIP Pro (opens in new tab) (retail price: $79.99), and the Nokia 2720 V Flip (opens in new tab) (retail price: $79.99) are the three available phones. Don’t expect too much from these basic phones. Despite the fact that the Nokia phone has Google Assistant.

Highlights

  • Some people may be hesitant to make the jump because they have accessibility features enabled on their old phones. If that’s the case, Verizon recommends contacting the carrier to find a better solution for their needs. Verizon was originally going to pull the plug on their 3G network back in 2019 but kept delaying it. According to company Vice President Mike Haberman(opens in new tab), the company wanted to give people ample time to switch and to “minimize disruptions.”

  • Once people get their new 4G phone, there’s a little bit of setup that they’ll have to perform to get it going. The old 3G phone must be turned off first before activating the new phone. If the 4G device isn’t activated within 30 days, Verizon will do it for you automatically. The company recommends people backup their contacts to Verizon Cloud so they can download them to their new phone. You can find a set of instructions(opens in new tab) on their website on how to do this. Verizon also recommends taking the old phone to a Verizon store so it can be recycled.

Verizon follows T-Mobile, which recently shut down its old 3G network(opens in new tab), and AT&T, which did the same back in February. T-Mobile and AT&T also gave out free phones, although the former was more generous as it included offers for a 5G device. It’s entirely possible that one day we’ll see the same thing happen to the 4G network, but that probably won’t be any time soon. For those shopping for a new phone, TechRadar recently published a list of the best deals for July 2022.

As to why they’re shutting down their network, it’s to better support the faster connections and develop new ones. The way it works is that a cellular connection has to share space with other connections on the network. But in turn, that holds back the potential of 4G and 5G speeds. With 3G shutting down, they can put more resources into improving the other standards. Plus Verizon can repurpose the tech and put them toward developing a 6G network.

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