Here's when T-Mobile might kill off the Sprint brand and what that means for 5G-hungry users
The uncertainty surrounding the greatest merger the US wireless industry has ever known technically ended on April 1 (no joke), as T-Mobile and Sprint managed to finally obtain the necessary legal approvals and regulatory certifications to become one incredibly powerful carrier, but plenty of confusion lingered on regarding what comes next from a consumer's point of view.
While we made sure to answer some of your most burning questions shortly after the business transaction was finalized, T-Mo waited until last week to clear the air on the very delicate topic of 5G-enabled phones sold by Sprint in 2019 that will essentially be downgraded to 4G LTE connectivity soon.
Another important matter concerns the actual transition of Sprint's current subscribers to "New T-Mobile", as well the branding strategy the combined operator is planning to adopt in the short to medium term. On that latter topic, freshly minted CEO and John Legere scion Mike Sievert already teased a joint marketing onslaught start around "midsummer", but the schedule may have been revised due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Remember, remember the 2nd of August
the vast majority of stores temporarily out of service, but while there's no indication the deadly virus will go away anytime soon, the new plan is apparently to turn T-Mobile and Sprint into "one brand" sometime in August.It's obviously hard to kick off a major rebranding effort and nationwide advertising campaign with said nation essentially closed down and
That's at least according to a purported slide from an internal presentation of some sort preparing employees for a number of imminent changes. These could include new uniforms, new roles, new managers, and a new pay structure, as well as a "unified customer experience."
A couple of people are claiming on a separate Reddit thread that August 2 is set to be the so-called "day one" of the union between T-Mobile and Sprint, following the April 1 "day zero" moment with a number of very important changes for customers.
Basically, the Sprint name will be erased from public memory, with new customers directed to New T-Mobile and current subscribers likely to see "limitations on their accounts." The nature of these rumored limitations is not exactly clear right now, but we're sure Magenta aims to make it nice and easy to become a T-Mobile customer... if you so choose.
Some changes will be gradual and others will take time
As far as the actual combined network is concerned, it will obviously take T-Mo more than a few months to integrate Sprint's airwaves across the nation, but another significant move expected to be completed by early August is the recently confirmed redeployment of the vital mid-band 5G spectrum. This is pretty much the most important piece of the "Un-carrier's" 5G puzzle, mind you, vastly and quickly improving the speeds of the low-band signal already available nationwide.
Further down the line, all T-Mobile and Sprint employees are apparently scheduled to move into "one system" sometime in January 2021, but unfortunately, the internal document posted on Reddit is blurred out to hide the consumer-facing changes (if any) that are also set to come into effect at the beginning of next year.
You should also keep in mind that even if real, which is by no means a guarantee, this timeline might be far from etched in stone, greatly depending on a number of logistical and, well, medical factors.
Finally, while the Sprint brand burial could be sudden and immediate, everything that involves customer transfers will probably take place slowly and gradually to give everyone the chance to carefully consider all the cool deals and promotions that are undoubtedly in the pipeline.