Sprint’s network remnants have been put to pasture. Sprint’s LTE network was decommissioned yesterday by its new owner, T-Mobile. This is in addition to Sprint’s 3G CDMA network, which was shut down earlier this year, and what was left of T-own Mobile’s 3G network, which is being phased out today. T-Mobile spokesperson Justin Paulsen confirmed that network shutdowns have begun.
It may surprise you that any part of Sprint’s network was still working as recently as last week. T-Mobile formally acquired the company in April 2020, including all of its spectrum and network towers, which will be reconfigured for 5G. When T-Mobile began shutting down Sprint’s equipment in March, the 3G CDMA network was the first to vanish. It had planned to close the network at the end of 2021, but the timeline was pushed back following a heated argument about anti-competitive activity in which Dish chief Charlie Ergen referred to T-Mobile as a Grinch.
Sprint’s LTE network followed, and it was set to be officially discontinued on June 30th, 2022. Unlike the company’s 3G network, which our former executive editor Dieter Bohn appropriately honored in his Sprint eulogy, there’s little reason to lament its demise. Sprint was late adopting LTE after first betting on WiMAX, and as a result, its LTE network lagged well behind the competition by the time it was operational. It was honestly quite horrible.
If you’re still using a Sprint LTE or T-Mobile 3G phone, there’s a good possibility you’ve already experienced service issues. In any case, T-Mobile will be overjoyed to get your hands on a 5G phone. “Customers who required to take action as a result of these retirement efforts were alerted well in advance and offered an offer for a free 5G replacement equipment,” Paulsen adds.