T-Mobile said Wednesday that the shutdown of Sprint’s 3G network is proceeding as planned, beginning March 31. As part of the shutdown process, the company said in a statement emailed to The edgeit will migrate customers over the next 60 days “to ensure they are supported and not left without connectivity, and the network will be completely disabled no later than May 31.”
Earlier reports suggested the actual shutdown date was pushed back to May 31, which would have been the second delay; T-Mobile was originally going to phase out the network in January, but said in October it would extend the deadline until March 31.
As one of the terms of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, which closed in 2020, Dish acquired Boost Mobile in July 2020 with the goal of Dish taking over from Sprint as the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the States. -United. After T-Mobile announced plans to shut down Sprint’s CDMA network, the two companies engaged in mutual criticism of each other; Dish President Charlie Ergen compared T-Mobile to the Grinch; T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert wrote in a blog post that Dish is “dragging its feet in taking its customers to the next 4G/5G world.”
At stake is the impact the shutdown will have on Dish’s Boost Mobile customers. The Department of Justice told Dish Network and T-Mobile in a July 2021 letter that it had “serious concerns” about the shutdown of Sprint’s legacy network and urged the companies to take “all appropriate action.” to reduce the effect on customers who rely on the network.
When it announced the postponement at the end of March, T-Mobile released a statement saying its “partners” had not followed through “on their responsibility to help their customers through this change” and that ‘he was “stepping up” the customers. on behalf of. It seemed like a thinly veiled reference to Dish Network, whose executive vice president of external legislative affairs Jeff Blum said. The edge back when COVID-related issues and supply chain shortages had slowed customer upgrades. He said the March delay was an acknowledgment by T-Mobile that shutting down the CDMA network could negatively impact consumers who rely on it.
Update March 30 at 2:33 p.m. ET: Specifies that the shutdown will begin on March 31 and will be completely halted by May 31.