Verizon to close its 2G CDMA 1x network in December 2019

Verizon to close its 2G CDMA 1x network in December 2019
With roughly 92% of Verizon's traffic running over its LTE pipeline, the nation's largest carrier plans on shutting down its 2G CDMA 1x network in December 2019. Verizon will refarm the spectrum for LTE use. The CDMA 1x network is used for voice calling by some Verizon customers, but by 2019 most should have updated to a phone with VoLTE capabilities.

Big Red also notes that slow-speed M2M machines still use CDMA 1x, such as remotely read water meters. Verizon has been working to transition these subscribers to LTE. According to Verizon spokesman Chuck Hamby, the carrier will not leave any of its customers without wireless service. "We will not abandon a single customer," Hamby said. "We will work with each of the customers one-on-one. Should there be stragglers, we will continue to work with them."

Back in 2012, Verizon gave what it called "A decade worth of pre-warning" by announcing that it would shut down the 2G and 3G CDMA networks by 2021. That date turned out to be a "guideline," very much like the December 2019 date announced today. Last year, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo was asked how long it would run the CDMA network. The executive was quite effusive in his praise of Verizon's CDMA pipeline as he called it "an extremely efficient network." But even efficient networks feel the relentless march of time, which is why Verizon is looking to close the book on 2G CDMA 1x in three and a half years.

source: FierceWireless



1. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

I doubt their coverage of 3G and 2G is as good as 2G, there have been some places, when I was driving from Chicago to New York, that there was no 3G or 4G coverage, my phone switched to 2G so I could at least make phone calls, but as long as their 3G coverage becomes as good as 2G before they shut it down, I am good with it.

3. CellieCell

Posts: 150; Member since: Apr 14, 2010

Well said, I'm sure that's what they're planning to do. Seeing that there are some people who has basic phones that are 3g capable (my dad) besides, I can't get onto facebook or instagram with 2g service! Hahahaha

13. tuminatr

Posts: 1121; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

here is my only issue with the story cdma 1x is actually a 3g network, yes its very slow like edge but its still a 3g technology

4. andynaija

Posts: 1255; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

So are they just shutting down the 1x portion of their CDMA network or is it their whole CDMA network including 3G EV-DO?

5. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Only 2G 1x, but that currently is the only network they have that covers most of the USA, 3G and 4G coverage is not actually as good as they advertise.

9. A_Steal

Posts: 16; Member since: Feb 14, 2013

Except that it is as good as they advertise. You just happen to hate verizon. Its okay. Not everyone can afford it.

11. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Actually, no it isn't. I live in an area shown to be in full LTE coverage with no dead spots anywhere near me. Yet, outside my home, I get around -105dBm for 3G and -123dBm for LTE. It's barely usable, and means I need a Network Extender in my home to have anything resembling decent service. The issue is that everytime they roll out a new network technology, tower range decreases. Back when they had analog, their towers had around a 40-50 miles coverage radius. By the time they rolled out 3G, it was down to around 20 miles, and LTE currently has around a 12 mile coverage radius. That is per a local Verizon engineer when I talked with him about why the signal in my area has gotten worse in the last 6 years. I have been with Verizon since December 1999, and I was with the regional company they acquired into Verizon for 4 years before that. I have no problem affording the cost of service with Verizon. My problem is they aren't keeping up with coverage expansion to fill in the holes that have appeared since they've started rolling out 3G and LTE. I've even made land available to put a new tower on since I live right in the middle of the dead spot. So far nothing from them. So no, it's not just about hating on Verizon. I've been a loyal customer of theirs for almost 16 years now, but if they don't step things up I won't be for much longer.

18. andynaija

Posts: 1255; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

The decreasing radius might be due to the higher frequencies Verizon (and other carriers) use for the new technologies, but hopefully you can try to contact them about getting a tower constructed on your land maybe it can help benefit you and other neighbors in your area as well.

20. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

It's odd because lower frequencies should carry further, and Verizon's LTE runs on 700MHz, a fairly low frequency compared to the old Sprint WiMax which was a bit over 2GHz. Lower frequencies carry further and penetrate buildings better, so I don't know why these have less range compared to 3G, but I'm going off of what a Verizon engineer related to me. I have already submitted a form to offer them access to put a tower on my land. The only problem is that towers aren't cheap, and the number of subscribers a tower would handle in my area probably would only fill a couple of floors in a major metro's skyscraper. So for them they probably don't see it as being worthwhile.

14. tuminatr

Posts: 1121; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

my interpretation of this is that Verizon is still routing some sms and voice delivery through cdma 1x and they will stop doing that and use LTE for both

7. TheOracle1

Posts: 2215; Member since: May 04, 2015

So Verizon is finally shutting down a portion of a network standard that's been abandoned by 99.99% of carriers and oem's worldwide? Why would the cfo of all people be commenting on how good their network was/is? They need to move to gsm because their phones don't work properly outside the US. It's called roaming btw. US consumers are being screwed by limited phone choices/prices and a dominant legacy network that's largely incompatible with the rest of the world.

8. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

They dug themselves too deep already, no turning back. They would have to change their whole infrastructure, which would cost billions. Verizon would never do that.

16. tuminatr

Posts: 1121; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

no they already did that, they use LTE for 4G

10. A_Steal

Posts: 16; Member since: Feb 14, 2013

Most of Verizon's new phones are banded for global use. In fact, the S7, iPhone 6, LG G5, or HTC M10 you buy from them is the same one everyone else gets. Verizon used to have to get their own lineup due to the CDMA system, but those days have long passed. The CDMA network is a relic that Verizon keeps around because of special services they have like remote cameras and water monitors that businesses use, and their basic phone users that refuse to upgrade. The article clearly states that.

12. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

A Galaxy S7 or LG G5 that you buy from AT&T or T-Mobile aren't the same as the global devices that Verizon sells. For one, they won't have CDMA on them. Only universally unlocked devices like the past several iPhones, the past few Nexus devices, last year's Moto X Pure, and the recently released unlocked Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have bands for all 4 major US carriers. Actually, it's not just about special services and basic phone user holdouts. There are many areas outside of cities where there is no 3G or LTE service, there's only 1x. If they do indeed drop 1x and haven't increased their tower count to compensate, they won't have as great of a coverage map as they currently do. I live in these areas so I know something about it. I've even talked with their engineers about it.

17. tuminatr

Posts: 1121; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

I think you got your facts a little messed up. All the carriers in the USA use LTE for their 4g tech and the only differences are the frequencies they are using The way I interpret this story and please fact check what I am saying is that Verizon is going to stop using there CDMA 1x network as part of their call and SMS delivery and rely solely on LTE for that. Maybe they will rely on VoLTE or something like that. Also keep in mind this is not unusual to shut down your old network AT&T has announced they are shutting down there GSM Voice and EDGE network. Both At&t and Verizon shut off their AMPS networks years ago and Sprint was the first GSM carrier here in the USA shut off that network in Washington DC years ago. And although I could not find a specific article T-Mobil has shut down much of their old GSM, EDGE voice network too.

19. andynaija

Posts: 1255; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

The first two paragraphs are correct, the rest not so much. You're correct Verizon will stop using their CDMA network for voice, text, and data and move it all to LTE. Sprint is a not a GSM carrier, they also use CDMA and TDD-LTE technology, the only networks Sprint has shut down in recent years are their WiMAX and iDEN networks. T-Mobile's GSM network is still in service and running, they did however shut down MetroPCS's CDMA network after the companies merged.

21. Beholder88

Posts: 86; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

Verizon has such a huge customer base and a lot of them started on the 1x CDMA network. Even though a lot of other countries around the world have been switching off their 1x networks it gets hard to do when you have a lot of customers still using them. Their push to get customers to 3G and now to 4G will help to alleviate that but they aren't going to just pull the rug out from under those that haven't upgraded yet.

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