Updated Oct 25, 2021 - Technology

T-Mobile delays shutdown of Sprint's CDMA network

The outside of a T-Mobile store in Arlington, Virginia, in August 2021.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

T-Mobile said on Friday that it will extend by three months its planned shutdown of Sprint's old CDMA network. It now plans to shutter the network at the end of March, rather than Jan. 1, 2022.

Why it matters: The move follows complaints by Dish Network that shutting down the network will hurt millions of its customers who own devices that still access the older network.

What they're saying: In a statement, T-Mobile says it needs to shut down the older network to create more bandwidth for 5G, but said extending support for three months won't materially affect its plans. T-Mobile added it has done its part to transition the former Sprint customers on its network.

  • "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," T-Mobile said on Friday.
  • A Dish Network spokesperson did not immediately reply to a request for comment on T-Mobile's move to delay the shutdown.

Between the lines: Dish has complained to state and federal regulators that T-Mobile's shutdown is taking place sooner than it had expected.

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Update, 10:55 a.m. PT: Dish said Monday that it still has more than 1 million Boost customers on the older network and that three additional months is "not nearly sufficient" and says T-Mobile should keep the network running until 2023 as it previously told regulators it would.

  • “T-Mobile’s announcement is a recognition that its premature shutdown of the CDMA network will harm consumers who rely on this network for critical connectivity, including 911," Dish executive VP Jeff Blum said in a statement.
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