Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE: VZ) will shut down its old 3G CDMA network by the end of this year. Since customers with 3G won’t be able to make calls following the shutdown, the carrier has started sending free 4G flip phones to users that are still on its old 3G network. 

Verizon to issue customers with new 4G phones after the shutdown of the 3G network

All customers who haven’t yet switched to a 4G LTE device are receiving the gadgets from Verizon. After Verizon retires the older 3G network, no one using it will be able to make or receive calls. Users will receive either a Nokia 2720 V Flip, an Orbic Journey V, or a TCL FLIP Pro, according to the company’s website. These devices cost around $80, and customers have given them one or two stars.

While the majority of individuals with basic 3G phones may choose to accept the offer, other individuals may already have a 4G phone from a friend or relative who has already upgraded to a 5G device. Customers may call customer service and request to “decline the free phone for CDMA Sunset” if they do not want Verizon to give them the new devices. Plans and agreements currently in place won’t change. If a consumer doesn’t activate the supplied devices themselves, Verizon will do it for them.

T-Mobile has already retired its older 3G network 

Both AT&T and T-Mobile have already phased down their 3G networks and given qualified users free replacement phones. T-Mobile has already retired Sprint’s older 3G CDMA and LTE networks, and at the start of this month, it will retire its older 3G UMTS network. There are also plans to retire the older GSM 2G network, but T-Mobile is yet to indicate the date it will shut down. 

Transitioning uses to advanced 4G and 5G networks from the older networks is aimed at freeing up resources and spectrum to help the carriers strengthen their whole network and move customers to advanced technologies to bridge the Digital Divide.