T-Mobile delays Sprint CDMA shutdown yet again
It seems not everyone is ready for change when it comes to legacy network shutdowns, as T-Mobile has announced they are delaying the Sprint CDMA shutdown once again. This isn’t the first time the legacy network shutdowns have been delayed. Just last month, T-Mobile shared that its own 3G UMTS network shutdown would not be until July 1st.
The announcement, shared in the Business section of T-Mobile’s newsroom website, states that the 3G CDMA network will live for another three months, extending from the original December of this year to March of 2022. The date on T-Mobile’s “Network Evolution” support document has also been updated with this new date.
T-Mobile doesn’t mince words on blame, either. The company says it’s on “partners” who have not “followed through on their responsibility to help customers through this shift.” Clearly, this is a jab at Dish, who has repeatedly accused T-Mobile of anti-competitive behavior over the CDMA network shutdown.
To build out our revolutionary network that will deliver the broadest and deepest 5G experience FOR ALL across the country, we need to sunset outdated CDMA technologies as soon as possible so every consumer, no matter their circumstances, will have access to the best connectivity and best experience. This is why we have aggressively executed on plans to take care of transitioning our impacted Sprint CDMA customers by the end of this year and provided our partners plenty of time and resources to take care of their customers as well.
Recently it’s become increasingly clear that 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. We have made the decision to extend our deadline for the CDMA sunset by three months to March 31, 2022.
Dish acquired Sprint’s prepaid business along with Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile back on July 1st of 2020, and since then has not made much progress in the way of deploying its own network. It released new plans and a new device, but the company also seems to have spent a lot of its time complaining about T-Mobile’s aggressive CDMA shutdown dates, which the carrier claims a lot of its customers are still using.
T-Mobile goes on to state that the date extension will have no financial impact on the business and that no delays will be added to the 5G buildout. They reference that their extended range 5G covers 308 million people along with 186 million covered by Ultra Capacity 5G.
T-Mobile closes off its announcement to again call out its “partners,” saying that there is “no more room for excuses”. It then goes on to implore those partners to “follow suit with the effort that is needed to ensure no one is left on the wrong side of the digital divide.” Clearly, T-Mobile blames Dish for dragging its feet moving its customers off of the older CDMA network. Hopefully, this will be the last time a legacy network shutdown is delayed.