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August 3, 2021
T-Mobile confirmed to Light Reading that it will shut down the Sprint LTE network by June 30, 2022.
T-Mobile previously disclosed it will shutter Sprint's 3G CDMA network on January 1, 2022. That has caused some controversy following Dish Network's request that T-Mobile maintain the network through a portion of next year – a request that T-Mobile has denied. An unspecified portion of Dish's Boost Mobile customers still rely on Sprint's CDMA network.
The overall Sprint network shutdown efforts are part of T-Mobile's plan to assimilate Sprint following its blockbuster $26 billion purchase of the operator in a transaction that closed last year. T-Mobile is in the process of building a 5G network using Sprint's spectrum and tower assets and is working to shift Sprint's legacy customers off the Sprint network as a result.
Already, T-Mobile said it has managed to move about 33% of its Sprint customers onto its T-Mobile network.
"Moving customers who are on old networks onto modern, advanced high-speed networks means they will need to have phones and devices that can tap into the latest technologies and don't rely on older ones. We'll ensure that we support our customers and partners through the transition. We began sending notifications late last year, and everyone who needs to act will be given advanced notice and hear directly from T-Mobile," the operator wrote on its website.
Interestingly, T-Mobile has no plans to turn off its own 2G network. "We've also shared that we plan to retire T-Mobile's older GSM 2G and UMTS 3G networks as well, but no date has been set. We will update this page with any additional information in the future," the operator wrote.
Of course, T-Mobile isn't the only wireless provider working to shutter older networks in order to devote more resources to newer and more capable networking technologies. For example, AT&T plans to shut down its 3G network early next year, while Verizon now plans to shutter its 3G network at the beginning of 2023.
Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading
Based in Denver, Mike has covered the wireless industry as a journalist for almost two decades, first at RCR Wireless News and then at FierceWireless and recalls once writing a story about the transition from black and white to color screens on cell phones.
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