In context: 5G is on the way and 4G has been the standard for years, but there's still plenty of people out there with older 3G cell phones. While the slower network has been on the chopping block for years, it's survived by the skin of its teeth thanks to repeated stay-of-executions from cell service providers.
Verizon's 3G network was set to shut down by the end of 2020. However, that deadline has passed and the network is still live: Verizon is giving 3G users one more (perhaps final) chance to switch over to newer technology. According to a statement provided to Light Reading, Verizon's 3G network remains "operational," and it does not have any plans to shut it down "at this time."
The company goes on to state that it will work with customers to move them to newer technology, whatever that might mean.
To be clear, this does not mean Verizon will continue operating 3G for several more years. For all we know, the network might only survive for a few more months (that's just a guess, though).
Verizon executives still maintain that they want to close the network off "as soon as possible," Light Reading reports -- all today's news means is that we don't have an updated deadline for when that day will come.
Perhaps Verizon is hoping a little uncertainty might be just the push any remaining 3G holdouts need to snag a newer device, though, of course, it's not that easy for everyone. There are still portions of the US that aren't adequately covered by 4G, much less 5G, leaving consumers with no choice but to continue relying on older tech.