Sprint's LTE network to shut June 30, T-Mobile stays mum on its own 3G service

T-Mobile sets a date for old Sprint network's shutdown, stays mum on its own 3G service
T-Mobile's merger with Sprint has been a success by all counts but the ones regarding jobs. After the merger, T-Mobile launched America's largest 5G network, when you count the slow low-band kind of coverage, and became America's second largest carrier by subscriber count, passing AT&T in the process.

At some point, however, it needs to shutter Sprint's aging CDMA network standard, and was recently in hot water with DISH for wanting to end it sooner than agreed. After acquiring Sprint’s prepaid businesses and customers, DISH was given access to the network of the resulting new T-Mobile carrier for no less than seven years, in addition to the opportunity of building its own independent 5G broadband network.

Unfortunately for DISH, its 5G network is still under construction, and on top of that T-Mobile wants to shut down Sprint's oldie CDMA network that DISH intended to piggyback on earlier than what it perceived was agreed upon. 

Last we heard, T-Mobile wanted to "turn off the Sprint CDMA network - home to millions of Boost subscribers - on January 1, 2022. This is significantly sooner than the three-year migration timeline it previously announced," said DISH at the time. 

This is indeed a far cry from the year 2023 it expected when it was given Sprint's prepaid brand Boost's subscribers to start its own network with. T-Mobile, however, is not budging, and intends to be completely done with Sprint as soon as next year.

When will T-Mobile shut down Sprint's CDMA and LTE networks?

  • January 1, 2022 - Sprint’s older 3G (CDMA) network will be retired
  • June 30, 2022 - Sprint’s LTE network will be retired

Tucked inconspicuously in T-Mobile's support pages, all of the Un-carrier's plans for deprecating the Sprint network are now given firm dates. Sprint's 3G CDMA network will indeed be shuttered by the beginning of next year, on January 1, 2022, while Sprint's faster LTE network will be shut down six months later, on June 30, 2022. 

Unlike the Sprint shutdown sprint, there is no timeline for retiring T-Mobile’s own ancient 2G GSM and 3G UMTS networks, for which "no date has been set" yet. As to why is T-Mobile in such a rush to kill Sprint's CDMA and LTE networks? 

There you have it, and T-Mobile says that all affected parties have been warned which doesn't make it an easier pill for DISH to swallow. T-Mobile actually lists two advantages that shutting the older Sprint networks down will bring:

  • Up to 300 times faster speeds
  • Improved "public safety and 911 location accuracy capabilities"

Who would want to live in the slow lane, right? Tell it to those millions of Boost subscribers, DISH would quip, while it is hurrying up with its 5G network buildout. There you have it, the old Sprint network as we know it will cease to exist on June 30, 2022. It's a date.

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