US operator Verizon followed on the heels of rivals AT&T and T-Mobile US when it shut down its 3G CDMA network at year-end 2022, three years after initially announcing a closure.

A Verizon representative told Mobile World Live (MWL) the operator started actively decommissioning its 3G network in 2016 but extended the shut off date from 2019 to the end of 2022 “in order to care for our customers and give them every effort to minimise disruptions to their service as they moved to newer and more advanced technologies”.

That outreach included proactively communicating through billing messages, digital and traditional outreach as well as sending some customers updated devices.

By contrast, AT&T announced that it phased out its 3G network in February 2022 while T-Mobile shut down its 3G UMTS network 1 July of the same year.

T-Mobile finished closing down Sprint’s 3G CDMA network by 31 March last year while Sprint’s 4G LTE network was shuttered by 20 June.

T-Mobile announced in December it had refarmed 1900MHz spectrum used in 3G and 4G to improve speed and performance on its Ultra Capacity 5G service.

Verizon attributed subscriber losses in Q2 and Q3 last year for its prepaid MVNO TracFone service to competitors closing down their 3G networks, but the operator’s representative stated those customers are in the process of being moved to the operator’s 4G network.

Dish Network executives blamed the shut down of T-Mobile’s CDMA network for the loss of 343,000 Boost Mobile customers in last year’s Q1. Dish Network and MVNO host T-Mobile were mired in a dispute about the timeline for the CDMA shutdown for more than a year.

Additional operators, such as Cricket, Boost Mobile, Straight Talk, and several Lifeline mobile service providers, used AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile ‘s 3G networks.