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Keep 3G During the Next Verizon 4G LTE Outage



Verizon’s 4G LTE network was down yesterday, for the third time this month. These increasingly common network outages have left 4G LTE smartphone users stranded without any data connectivity on their high-end smartphones.

For business users, this means lost money and lost productivity. For the average user, this means no Facebook, no email and no browsing the web.

While many of us had no 3G service yesterday, Verizon claims that there was no 3G data outage. This is technically true, but many 4G LTE smartphone owners found themselves without 3G on December 28th.

In theory, when 4G LTE networks fail, phones like the Galaxy Nexus should default to 3G, but this consistently does not happen. The best explanation I have heard is that the phone will keep asking the tower for 4G LTE, which cancels out the 3G signal coming from the tower. Not very technical, but easy enough to understand.

In order to keep some connectivity on your Galaxy Nexus, Droid RAZR or other 4G LTE phone, you will need to manually turn off 4G LTE. This will force the phone into 3G mode, and allow you to connect to the internet, albeit 10 times slower.

You can click on the links below for detailed instructions. It is pretty easy to turn off 4G LTE and turn it back on later. The Galaxy Nexus is incredibly easy, as is the Droid RAZR.

How to Turn Off 4G LTE

How to turn off 4G LTEFor many phones, you can use these steps to turn off 4G LTE:

  1. Launch your Phone dialer
  2. Dial *#*#4636#*#*
  3. When prompted, choose Phone information.
  4. Tap on Set preferred network type
  5. Choose CDMA auto (PRL)
  6. Press Home.

To reverse this, do the same, but choose CDMA+LTE/EvDo auto

Turn off 4G LTE on Verizon Phones:

Switching to 3G should help you keep your data connection when the next Verizon 4G LTE outage happens, hopefully it won’t happen until next year.



  1. ol1bit

    12/29/2011 at 5:34 pm

    Yea It was hell trying to activate my Rezound.  Even the V physical store couldn’t help.

    It activiated about 9PM AZ time for me.  Till then I was without my original droid.  the Rezound was partially working, I had internet, but no phone number for calls.

  2. Carlton Flowers

    12/30/2011 at 12:47 pm

    What’s the status on the story regarding Verizon Wireless eventually dropping 3G service altogether? When I had originally read about that on the tech blogs, I decided Verizon would never be an option for me due to this very reason… no fallback. While Verison may be dropping their 3G coverage, AT&T is actually beefing theirs up while they build their LTE network. I’d rather have a dependable backdrop than nothing at all. At any rate, I just wonder what happened to the plan to drop 3G. Maybe they aren’t now.

    • George

      01/12/2012 at 7:14 pm

      Investing in the FUTURE leads us out of the past!!  How great was it when we moved from ANALOG to 3G???  There may be a few growing pains advancing to 4G, but could you now imagine going back to analog from your 3G..  You mention ATT beefing up their 3G…. Sometimes you have to stop pooring money into and Ford Taurus and Hop into that new Ferrari!!!! 

  3. Bob

    01/13/2012 at 11:31 am

    I’ve had my 4g off since I got my Galaxy Nexus, and the 3g is still out even on cdma only mode.

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