T-Mobile's big 5G plans are not good news for all Sprint customers

T-Mobile's big 5G plans are not good news for all Sprint customers
T-Mobile's ambitious 5G expansion efforts are bearing fruit mere weeks after the long overdue completion of the merger between the nation's third and fourth-largest wireless service providers, with Sprint's valuable mid-band spectrum already added on top of Magenta's low-band network in "parts of" Philadelphia and "coming soon to parts of" New York City.

But while this is obviously great news for T-Mo customers across the nation, as well as current Sprint subscribers in possession of a Galaxy S20 5G, those who splashed out on an earlier 5G-enabled device on the soon-to-be-discontinued "Now Network" are in for a rather unpleasant surprise.

Prepare to say goodbye to your 5G signal


As thoroughly detailed and neatly explained by CNET, a number of devices released on Sprint with 5G connectivity last year will essentially be downgraded to 4G LTE support only as T-Mobile integrates and repurposes the technology used by its new daughter operator to lay the foundation of its high-speed network. 

Naturally, the process will not take place overnight, but eventually, owners of Sprint's Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, LG V50 ThinQ, and HTC 5G Hub are set to lose 5G access across the nine markets currently covered by the carrier's advanced mid-band spectrum. New York City will be impacted first, but for what it's worth, T-Mobile is preparing a number of deals to make up for the inconvenience and help you upgrade to a newer phone equipped with "true" 5G support for the long haul.


It's unclear exactly when these special offers will go live, but expect an imminent alert letting you know you can get a Samsung Galaxy S20 5G for as little as... $0 a month after credits on an 18-month lease plan. 

That's a pretty sweet deal, targeting Galaxy S10 5G, OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, and LG V50 ThinQ users paying less than $10 a month right now on their lease or installment plan, while those currently spending more than $10 a month will soon be able to score the aforementioned S20 5G for $10 a month after lower credits with a new 18-month lease of their own.

Finally, if you purchased the HTC 5G Hub (for some reason), you're looking at a $12.50 monthly credit for the rest of your installment plan or a one-time $300 bill credit for anyone who chose to pay the full retail price upfront.

T-Mobile's long-term plan is slowly coming together 


All in all, Magenta is arguably doing everything it can to make everyone's impending transition from Sprint to "New T-Mobile" as smooth as possible, even though some people are still likely to feel cheated seeing their super-expensive Galaxy S10 5G downgraded to 4G LTE speeds after not exactly being properly warned that such a move was in the works. 

It's all for the industry's greater good, of course, as T-Mo is widely expected to take the nationwide lead in both 5G coverage and speeds relatively soon thanks in large part to Sprint's "refarmed" and redeployed mid-band spectrum.


In the long run, the plan is to combine low, mid, and high-band technology to create a 5G network "the other guys can't match" either due to a lack of resources or a mmWave-centric rollout strategy that seems to be spectacularly backfiring. While Verizon has by far the fastest 5G signal in the US, this is only available in tiny parts of major metropolitan areas, having trouble penetrating walls or other types of obstacles.

Obviously, T-Mobile isn't neglecting this state-of-the-art high-band mmWave technology, but the core of its 5G network is built on low-band spectrum, guaranteeing first and foremost nationwide availability.

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7 Pro 5G
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