GSM phones and service going away?

I am reading that GSM services are going away pretty soon.

Does this mean that my moto x is doomed to the sock drawer soon?? My pay as you go services will go the way of the dinosaur??

Will I be forced to go to CDMA and the dreaded dead spots that service has in my area???

June 15, 2015 11:37 AM PT

That’s old news. The GSM referenced is the older very slow data speed version used before 3G and 4G. No need to worry.


Which generation of Moto X do you reference? The 1st and 2nd generation Moto X supported on Republic’s network are CDMA not GSM devices. The 3rd generation Moto X (a/k/a Moto X Pure) and the 4th generation Moto X may be provisioned for cellular coverage by Republic for either GSM (T-Mobile) or CDMA (Sprint). Whether you’re referring to the Moto X1, X2, X3 or X4, I don’t expect any to go the way of the dodo just yet.

As technology (which is separate from coverage), it’s CDMA rather than GSM that will be going away in the not too distant future (still a few years on that). 4G LTE and forthcoming 5G cellular networks are generally considered to be evolutions of GSM not CDMA technology. Increasingly as 1G, 2G and not terribly far down the road (again still a few years) are turned off, U.S. cellular networks will standardize on technology that evolved from GSM and CDMA will fade away. Most of the rest of the world standardized on GSM and evolutions of GSM technology long ago. The only other large countries where CDMA technology was widely used were Canada (since turned off and converted to GSM and evolutions of GSM) and Japan (whose flavor of CDMA is mutually incompatible with the U.S. flavor of CDMA).

As 5G begins its slow rollout in the next few years, 4G LTE (like 3G today) will become fallback technology. At that point, all U.S. cellular network operators will at long last have standardized on the same network technology and this will be a good thing.

Earlier this year Sprint (which uses CDMA technology) started to turn off service to very old phones. Ultimately, that happens to all phones as they age and the cellular networks advance. The newest of Republic’s legacy phones (Moto E1, E2, G1, G3, X1 and X2) is four years old now (an eternity in technology terms). If one can keep them running, they still have some years of useful life left in them but they won’t last forever.


Yeah, I had that backwards and mine is the CDMA service. Just what I read is that this CDMA is going away much faster than the “few years” thing.

CDMA is certainly dying. How fast will depend on a few things. A big one is whether the Sprint/T-Mobile merger goes through. There are two national CDMA carriers, Verizon & Sprint. Verizon has been rapidly moving away from CDMA and in fact it has been a while since you’ve been able to activate a CDMA only phone with Verizon, all phones that are activated now must be LTE phones. They’ve been decommissioning portions of their old 2G/3G CDMA network and are I believe their stated goal is to have no more CDMA by the end of 2020 although it appears that they may be on track to get it done closer to the end of this year.

Sprint is a different story. They have vast sections of their network that would still need to be upgraded before they could shut down CDMA and they have no money to do that. If the merger goes through however I would expect that T-Mobile will work quickly, within whatever limits are set on the merger approval, to convert towers to LTE only quickly and kill the CDMA side.

Last I read Verizon will be shutting down most of it’s CDMA at the end of 2019, only a few towers are being left so business have time to update some of their legacy equipment [and their contact with Verizon required Verizon to keep it up a little longer] but as far as Verizon consumers [including Verizon based MVNOs] CDMA is dead at the of this year. What this means is roaming on Version will no long be a thing with CDMA base phones [but local towers and local carriers may still offer some roaming]

Sprint [which Republic’s CDMA is based on] has more unknown effects on when they shut down last I heard Sprint was looking at sometime in 2022 to shut down CDMA networks but not sure if they are on target to actually be able to do this, they have not release VoLTE to many of it’s customer base, not sure if their system can handle all VoLTE without upgrades [which they don’t really have the money for] and then their the pending takeover/merger with T-Mobile could speed up the CDMA shut down as T-Mobile already does VoLTE (even though MVNOs) if they add Sprint LTE towers to T-Mobile network [merging Sprint and T-Mobile coverage] send out GSM/LTE SIMs to Sprint customers they could move up the shut down of CDMA, but they will have to follow rules setup by the government when [if] they approve the merger

When CDMA is shut down it will be the end of service of the Legacy and beta phones as there will not be a network that they will work on. [Even the LTE legacy phones don’t support VoLTE and must use CDMA for voice, they may still be allowed in WiFi only plans if Republic thinks there value to keeping 5 year old phone and those plans ]
This is just my opinion and guessing what will happen

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

Message an
Expert customer