How to Update My Towers on My Verizon Phone

By Kathleen Estrada

This article provides instructions on updating a 3G Verizon mobile phone with roaming towers. It also helps users who have a 4G phone; updating is not needed.

There are two types of Verizon phones and each has a different way of updating roaming towers. If your phone is 3G and does not have a SIM card, you can easily update your towers by dialing *228 and choosing option 2. However, if your phone is 4G and has a SIM card, updating your roaming towers in this way can do more damage than good to your SIM card.

Updating Towers on 4G Phone

If you own a Verizon 4G device, the update of the nearest towers is an automatic process, and you do not need to take any action to keep your phone updated. However, you can manually force an update if you feel the automatic process has failed. Some signs that your phone needs to be updated are a larger number of dropped calls and a drain on your battery. To manually update your phone's towers, power off the device and remove the SIM card. Wait a minute. Insert the SIM card and turn your phone back on. Your phone will automatically update to the nearest towers.


Updating your Verizon phone programs the device with the preferred roaming list (PRL). If this is done regularly, you will enjoy the best possible service with Verizon. This is why on a 4G phone, the PRL is updated frequently and on every reboot.

Examples of Verizon 4G Devices include, but are not limited to:

  • Motorola Droid Turbo
  • LG G4
  • Apple iPhone 6
  • Apple iPhone 5
  • Samsung Galaxy S 6
  • Motorola Droid MAXX
  • HTC One M9
  • Sony Xperia
  • LG Lucid 3
  • Google Nexus 6

Updating your phone is a free process and no airtime charges apply. This service is available at any time, day or night. After your phone updates -- or if you have to do it manually -- you will enjoy a longer battery life with fewer dropped calls. Verizon says that this service will give you clear, crisp connections in more places in the United States. Also, if you keep your phone updated, you will have the ability to connect to the digital network in more parts of the country.


Android forums began logging threads mid-2011 when 4G SIM cards became popular. Some users reported no effect at all by manually updating the towers; however other users warned that manually updating a phone with a SIM card could harm the SIM or could lock a 4G phone into 3G service. Verizon representatives advised that users do not manually update a 4G phone by dialing *228. Only manually update a 4G phone by removing the SIM card.

Updating Towers on 3G Phone

Industry experts predict 3G will be gone by 2018; however, if you have a 3G device with no SIM card, you can manually update your phone. Verizon suggests updating your towers every three months and after you change plans on a 3G device. To manually update a 3G phone, dial *228 and press send. Choose option 2 and wait for the message stating your phone has been updated successfully.

Some examples of 3G devices include, but are not limited to:

  • LG Cosmos 3
  • LG Revere 2
  • Samsung Gusto 3
  • Motorola Moto G
  • LG Optimus Exceed 2
  • HTC Desire 612