Sprint's 5G network is officially terminated as part of T-Mobile's integration process
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It's no longer a big secret that T-Mobile has a massive early advantage over the rest of the nation's major wireless service providers in terms of 5G availability, but while the "Un-carrier" is also working hard on improving average download speeds across the nation, catching up to Verizon from that equally important standpoint will take time.
That's because Magenta can't just snap its fingers and magically make America's first "nationwide" 5G network, built on low-band technology, as fast as Big Red's super-limited mmWave signal. Instead, "New T-Mobile" needs to add its own millimeter wave (aka high-band) and mid-band 2.5 GHz layers on top of the aforementioned low-band 600 MHz foundation to achieve the perfect balance between speed and coverage with the so-called "full layer cake" rollout strategy.
already been served in New York, where T-Mo customers can feast on all three available 5G flavors, while a slightly slower combination of low and mid-band connectivity is live in Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles as of yesterday. However, Magenta's relentless Sprint spectrum integration work is not good news for everyone, as highlighted in multiple recent reports, including a fresh one published by Fierce Wireless.Said cake has
No more 5G for a (small) portion of Sprint customers
Before it can add Sprint's mid-band spectrum on top of its nationwide low-band 5G technology, T-Mobile has to reconfigure, test, and finally re-deploy said spectrum, which is obviously a complicated and time-consuming process. To help speed up this key development on Magenta's path to truly ubiquitous and blazing fast 5G service, some tough decisions had to be made.
One of them essentially left a number of Sprint subscribers in the lurch, as those in possession of Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, LG V50 ThinQ, and OnePlus 7 Pro 5G devices can no longer obtain a mid-band 5G signal. That's because the move announced more than two months ago is now done, with Sprint's legacy 5G network terminated in anticipation of T-Mobile's re-deployments.
These should take place relatively soon across markets like Atlanta, Dallas, Kansas City, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C., but the three aforementioned handsets will never get their 5G support back. Of course, you can continue using any of the three on Sprint's 4G LTE network, which is actually not significantly slower than T-Mobile's low-band 5G service.
Because things are about to change and T-Mo speeds will be drastically improved with the help of Sprint's former mid-band technology, you're advised to upgrade to a compatible phone. Your best options are the three members of Samsung's ultra-high-end Galaxy S20 family, which have proven far more popular than the likes of the Galaxy S10 5G anyway.
Apparently, Sprint only sold around 15,000 S10 5G units, as well as 35,000 LG V50 ThinQ copies and 25,000 OnePlus 7 Pro 5G devices, so T-Mobile's decision to pull the "Now Network's" 5G plug isn't actually impacting that many people. In contrast, Sprint reportedly sold a grand total of roughly 220,000 S20 5G series phones in March and April alone, boosting that number close to 500,000 units by the end of June.
Killer deals galore
In order to make the switch as smooth and as painless as possible, T-Mobile is offering affected Sprint customers two ultra-affordable upgrade options.
Those who currently lease or finance a OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, LG V50 ThinQ, or Galaxy S10 5G can get a Galaxy S20 5G replacement device for $10 a month after bill credits with a new 18-month lease if they're paying more than $10 a month on their existing agreements, with that monthly fee knocked down to $0 for anyone currently owning, leasing, or financing one of the three aforementioned first-gen 5G phones and paying less than $10 a month right now.
That's all in addition to Sprint's other great deals for new and existing customers on devices fully compatible with the New T-Mobile 5G network, like a Samsung Galaxy A71 or Galaxy S20 for $15 a month, the OnePlus 8 for $14.58 a month, a Galaxy S20+ for $20 a month, and a Galaxy S20 Ultra for $25 a month.
Naturally, all these super-attractive special offers come with a number of strings attached and special requirements, including obligatory Flex Lease plans and new lines of service that will soon be transferred to T-Mobile.