3G Swims With the Fishes After Verizon Becomes the Last Major U.S. Carrier to Sunset the Groundbreaking Mobile Standard - CES 2023

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It was at CES 20 years ago that Verizon announced that it would start streaming video and 3D games over its third-generation (3G) mobile network. 

This week, as it continues to festoon CES 2023 with 5G propaganda, Verizon is kicking the final fringe group of 3G faithful off that network, as it cannibalizes the spectrum for 5G initiatives  -- a move already made by U.S. wireless peers AT&T and T-Mobile earlier in 2022.

Early last month, Verizon informed these users that, upon completion of their December billing cycle, they'd lose the ability to do everything on their aging phones beyond calling 911 and Verizon customer service. On Feb. 1, they won't even be able to do those things. 

While 3G will live on for the foreseeable future internationally, the mobile network technology credited with ushering in the smart phone era is effectively dead in the U.S. 

It had a run. 

A year after releasing its very first iPhone, Apple poured rocket fuel on its fledgling mobile hardware line by introducing the "iPhone 3G," which touted internet connections that were twice as fast as the first-gen iPhone device. 

The technology made using the internet on mobile devices -- and streaming video on them -- a feasible, mass-market activity.

Technologies emerge, get hyped, get used, age, and fade away. It's the way it goes. But we're just taking a post to recognize 3G as one of the more innovative, important tech standards of our time. 

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!