I am very likely a unique user who depends on the 3G spectrum on an almost daily basis for somewhat unique reasons. To summerize:
My vehicle, a two Mercedes-Benzes - an S600 and an E320 have factory integrated Mercedes-Benz branded Motorola v60s and Motorola V710 integrated telephones with the telematic systems in them. I am sure the first thing most will think is why not move to Bluetooth? The S600 in particular has infared resistent glass all around the vehicle from the factory, and it nearly makes and iPhone (iPhone X in my case) nearly useless. It regularly drops to 3G or 1xRTT due to the LTE signal being blocked by the glass. The V710 in the vehicle has a compensator with external antenna that will virtually never drop a call. In a unique situation, I mantained a phone call in excess of a 300 mile trip. It also has other perks such as voice dialing, SMS capability in the COMAND navigation screen, but the best feature is the extremely reliable coverage it affords in the vehicle when the iPhone will drop a call ever 5 minutes (no exaggerating). The E320 has a nearly idential system based on the V60s with SMS, voice dialing, etc. as well, and I use these hands-free features on a daily basis.
The other concen is both of these vehicles have an emergency call system that automatically dispatches assistance if airbags deploy, remote lock/unlock features, alarm activation notification via SMS, email, or phone call. All of these items are tightly integrated into the vehicle telematics systems.
With that said, can anyone in the know comment on how the alleged decomissining of he 1xRTT and 3G networks will take place, and if there is a date set? This will seriously impact the usability of the telematics systems in my vehicles, and is obviously a cause of concern. Since exceptions are made to activate non-E911 compliant cellular phones in some cases, will similar exceptions be made in this case, particularly for the emergency call system built into the vehicle? If the telephones never have their service terminated by the customer, will they continue to function?
The shutdown date is Dec 31 2019. So a little more in 200 days. E-911 still might work as Verizon is still elaving a small slice fo 1X active for certain MtM and IoT vendors. So that sice could possibly be used for e-911. Your calling features will likely not work. You should call in the manufacture and see if they offer some sort of upgrade. Also regardless of the shutdown Verion has been decommissioning CDMA equipment anyway. New tower in the alst few years did not have CDMA equipment installed and as CDMA equipment failed it as not repalced. So a significant percentage of tower are CDMA-less anyway.
Also infrared blocking shouldn't affect LTE as they are not near each other. Infrared starts at 300 GHz. Verizon's band 66 goes up to 2.18 GHz and band 13 is in the 700 MHz range.
Thank you for the reply. I have not noticed personally any degredation in the signal quality anytime recently on the CDMA band. I have the V710 in the S600 and I was not aware the glass would have that effect either, but the reduction in signal is nothing short of astonishing. It litterally will drop from a decent LTE signal to 1x when the windows are up. The car has no aftermarket tint or anything. Bluetooth would not obviously not benefit any situation like this, although it is an option to use in the vehicle. The E-Class does not have the coating on the windows so does not suffer from this, but it is nice to have an integraged solution that you can use all of the vehicle's factory controls and audio system to make hands-free calls.
I don't know many details on the plans and other than what has been made public (and I am sure I don't know all of them) but I hope there is a chance they will continue to allow these phones to operate since the digital technology will still be in use. The E-Call system (Mercedes calls it "mbrace" uses a CDMA Motorola tranceiver in the trunk to place a call to emergency services if an airbag is deployed or if you need roadside assistance, etc. It also uses SMS technology for remote door lock/unlock, and I feel sure Verizon Telematics signed a long-term contract with Daimler AG to take the business away from Hughes Telematics a few years ago. Since fewer and fewer of these devices are actually using any of the spectrum the impact should be minimal - with the majority of the cost being the maintenance of the infrastructure to not necessarily upgrade it, but keep it running.
I have little doubt that Verizon will develop an attractive solution for those that have 3G flip phones to upgrade to the newer LTE models, as well as ones on older iPhones, etc. The E-Class Mercedes came with an analog tranceiver when it was built new, and Mercedes offered a digital conversion for it to allow it to continue to operate, but of course it was paid for by the customer and was close to $1,500.
When driving through Centralia, PA, my iPhone would not even place a call and said No Service on many occasions, but the integrated phone had signal and could place and receive calls without issue.
Since some pre-pay carriers that actually use Verizon as their backhaul will still activate a Motorola TimePort phone with of course no E911 capabilities, there are clearly some loopholes and exceptions that are written in to these transition, and I expect this wil be something similar (or at least I hope). It works perfect for what it is intended for.
All I can say is when analog shut down and carrier went all digital those on analog OnStar type systems were pretty much out of luck. Also even those companies with m2m and IoT systems that are getting an exention it's only for 3 years tops.