Verizon has begun sacrificing its 3G networks on the altar of LTE

Converting 3G to 4G LTE is inevitable

It was the wireless standard for a while, and 3G service chugs on for many users - but that has begun to change.

That shouldn't come as a surprise, but it's fascinating to note one active harbinger of 3G's demise; namely, Verizon's new move to begin killing its 3G spectrum and using it for a new 4G LTE network instead.

Verizon's first two LTE networks tapped previously unused spectrum, but a new network detected by tweeter Milan Milanović is a different story.

For this one Verizon is shutting down its old systems and testing 4G LTE on PCS bands in New York City.

From hypothesis to fact

Milanović noticed the switch when he attempted to connect to frequency bands that were previously used for Verizon's 3G EV-DO network, but which now connected him to Verizon LTE service. He repeated the experiment all over Manhattan, though it didn't work in other New York boroughs.

And Verizon confirmed that it is testing LTE on those bands when Gigaom reached out for a statement, though they wouldn't provide any further details.

A spokesperson did, however, point out that the carrier has previously said it would begin converting some 3G into 4G by 2015 - and that it would shut 3G down completely by 2021.

That's still a long ways off, and almost half of Verizon devices are still stuck on 2G and 3G, but it's interesting to know that the process has already begun.