What does the end of 3G in 2020 mean for fringe/rural customers?

Member

Although I'm not paying much attention to Verizon's 5G deployment (my Pixel 2 doesn't support it), it didn't occur to me until reading about it (https://grudiassociates.com/5g-is-coming-soon-how-will-it-affect-your-phones/) that this 5G rollout is forcing the end to the 3G network.   

At my parents' cabin in rural Michigan we often only get spotty 3G coverage that fades in and out.  Enough to get text messages, and some limited weather app updates.  Good enough. 4G seems almost next to impossible to reach.  My limited RF knowledge can't explain why I often get better CDMA reception (800MHz or 1900MHz) from 10+ mile far-away towers, better than Band 13 (700MHz) 4G LTE at a tower 5 miles away.  Often while driving in Northern Wisconsin and Upper Peninsula of Michigan, there will be miles-long gaps with only 3G coverage until LTE can kick in.

So will the gaps of no coverage be larger once 5G rolls out and 3G is turned off? Or will 5G bring us in better shape than before? (and assuming we get compatible devices)?  Will 5G provide the improved long-range coverage as 3G did when we couldn't lock in to LTE?  Or is 5G only useful for dense urban areas with lots of cell cites? 

-Erik Coleman

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Re: What does the end of 3G in 2020 mean for fringe/rural customers?

Customer Support

Eccoleman, we always want you to have wireless service, and we're to help with your service concerns at your parents home, as well as provide clarification about our network. We are moving all devices to our HD Voice LTE network, which offers superior coverage and performance compared to previous generation networks. We are doing this in phases over the next year, which will also help to improve the service gaps you currently receive. I hope this information helps to provide clarity.

 

I understand there are gaps in coverage when visiting your parents. To gain clarity, when you're at their cabin are calls also affected? Do they have access to Wi-Fi?

 

ChakiaH_VZW

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Re: What does the end of 3G in 2020 mean for fringe/rural customers?

Leader

not to be rude but verizon doesn't have a responsibility of providing 4g service to every square inch of the us.

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Re: What does the end of 3G in 2020 mean for fringe/rural customers?

Member

"not to be rude but verizon doesn't have a responsibility of providing 4g service to every square inch of the us." ....they do if they are discontinuing 3G to customers who can only GET 3G on verizon's network. I live on a farm in the boonies in Wisconsin. Best we can get is 3G from Verizon. No other cell provider covers the area at all...and we only get it on top of the bluff. Verizon said "sure. and we're improving all the time". Except..they haven't. and if they discontinue 3G...that's hundreds of thousands of people (at least that many) who no longer have cell reception. 

Re: What does the end of 3G in 2020 mean for fringe/rural customers?

Sr. Leader

@AnneTanns wrote:

"not to be rude but verizon doesn't have a responsibility of providing 4g service to every square inch of the us." ....they do if they are discontinuing 3G to customers who can only GET 3G on verizon's network. 


Actually, they have the opportunity to provide it, not the responsibility to do so. You can always get landline service if you do not have cellular service.

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Re: What does the end of 3G in 2020 mean for fringe/rural customers?

Sr. Member

I don't see how Verizon should be on the hook when other carriers don't provide service. If at best you're barely getting 3G service on 1 carrier, or it's time either get a landline or move.

That's all you can do. I had a similar situation for internet service at an apartment complex in a rural town. Considering dialup wouldn't cut it and neither would dish, I didn't stay there long. This is just the reality of rural living.

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Re: What does the end of 3G in 2020 mean for fringe/rural customers?

Expert

https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/knowledge-base-218813/

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

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Re: What does the end of 3G in 2020 mean for fringe/rural customers?

Member

To the person who started his/her comment by saying "Not to be rude..." I pay for Verizon coverage just like I presume you do.  If I am paying for a service, and my house is smack dab in the middle of what is labeled as "4g LTE Coverage Area" then I expect there to be coverage.  Right now, we get a weak 3g signal and on a good day, an even weaker 4g signal.  I am wondering just what kind of service I will have once 3g is gone.  I already have a Wilson 3g signal booster or I wouldn't have internet or cell phone access at all.  I don't know if the very weak 4g signal will even register on a second Wilson signal booster I'm thinking of buying for 4g.  We are about 7 miles (straight line) from the nearest Verizon tower, but a lot of tall trees are in the way.  Getting very nervous about not having any phone service after December 31, 2020.  How can I find out if Verizon is planning on beefing up the 4g signal in my area a year from now?

Re: What does the end of 3G in 2020 mean for fringe/rural customers?

Customer Support

CFinMichigan1

 

We truly understand your concern as having cellular service is crucial these days.

Regarding future network infrastructure, Verizon Wireless radio frequency (RF) engineers and system performance engineers regularly evaluate network coverage and performance to identify locations that may require additional coverage. Based on their analyses and recommendations cell site construction or other improvements are then planned and budgeted accordingly. Verizon Wireless' specific network expansion plans, locations, and timetables are considered proprietary and confidential.

 

EdwardL_VZW

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Re: What does the end of 3G in 2020 mean for fringe/rural customers?

Member

So what is going to happen to the 3g towers that are still up?  Are they being converted to 4g or just getting turned off and left to rust?  The nearest 4g tower from where I live is nearly 15 miles through hills and trees. I'm currently on a dependable but not powerful 3g CDMA signal (and using a Samsung network extender I get full bars) but testing the 4g signal with the LTE discovery app shows zip-zero-nothing.  It's a shame your providers are in such a rush to kill 3g CDMA and implement 5g when you  have not already put into place a dependable coverage network to replace it. Honestly ..... you folks took something tried and true and are systematically ruining it.