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T-Mobile Delays Shutdown Of Sprint 3G Network Until March 2022

T Mobile Sprint Logos Illustration AH April 4 2019
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T-Mobile will keep the Sprint CDMA network (3G) alive longer than it initially planned to. The self-proclaimed Un-carrier has announced that it is delaying the shutdown of the legacy network by three months, from January 1 to March 31, 2022. This delay is to give “partners” more time to help their customers with the transition.

T-Mobile sounds very sour in its official statement, blaming partner carriers for not acting promptly. The company says it provided its partners “plenty of time and resources” to take care of their customers. But “some of those partners haven’t followed through on their responsibility to help their customers through this shift. So, we’re stepping up on their behalf.”

The statement doesn’t name a carrier but there’s a strong hint of it being a dig at Dish Network. When T-Mobile and Sprint merged last year, Dish acquired Sprint’s former prepaid MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) Boost Mobile. The latter had over nine million customers at that time, and the majority of them relied on Sprint’s legacy 3G network.

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In December last year, T-Mobile announced that it will shut down the Sprint CDMA network on January 1, 2022. Dish requested more time as it wasn’t prepared to migrate all Boost Mobile users from the aging network to its 5G service before the deadline. T-Mobile denied the request, to which Dish said it will move part of its MVNO business to AT&T, accusing the former of “anti-competitive behavior.”

T-Mobile initially appeared undeterred by all this. But it is now showing some signs of cooperation, giving Dish three more months to complete the transition. The company isn’t holding back with words though.

“We want to give those partners who haven’t done the right thing for their customers every opportunity to step up now and do so,” T-Mobile says expressing its disappointment. “There should be no more room for excuses. We have provided even more time and those partners can follow suit with the effort that is needed to ensure no one is left on the wrong side of the digital divide.”

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T-Mobile will also shut down the Sprint LTE network next year

Along with the legacy 3G network, T-Mobile will also shut down the Sprint 4G LTE network next year. The company has announced that it will pull the plug on the 4G network on June 30, 2022. It is currently in the process of moving Sprint customers to its network. At the same time, T-Mobile is also luring customers from rival carriers with some exciting offers.