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Photo illustration: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Dish Network sent a letter to the FCC on Thursday, complaining that T-Mobile — its partner for wireless services — is rushing to shut down a network still used by millions of Dish's Boost Mobile customers.

Why it matters: T-Mobile's purchase of Sprint was only allowed after it agreed to sell a chunk of assets to Dish, including its Boost prepaid business. Plus, Dish is highly reliant on T-Mobile for network services as it builds out its own 5G network over the next several years.

Driving the news: Dish's letter to the FCC addresses a range of concerns, but the largest issue relates to the shutdown of the CDMA network that had previously been used by Sprint and is still used by the majority of Dish's 9 million Boost Mobile subscribers.

  • As part of the Boost sale to Dish, T-Mobile agreed to provide network services, but didn't commit to operating the CDMA service (Sprint's legacy network) for a particular length of time.
  • Dish had expected that T-Mobile would eventually look to shut down that network in three to five years, according to people familiar with Dish's thinking. But Sprint said late last year that it would look to shut it down far earlier, on Jan. 1, 2022.

What they're saying: "A forced migration of this scale under this accelerated time frame is simply not possible and will leave potentially millions of Boost subscribers disenfranchised and without cell service come January 1, 2022," Dish said in the letter.

  • It also noted that Verizon, which has only 1% of customers still on CDMA, has repeatedly delayed its shutdown and now doesn't plan to do so until 2023, a year after T-Mobile plans to do so.
  • A T-Mobile representative was not immediately available for comment.

Between the lines: The public acrimony is significant as Dish is highly reliant on T-Mobile for network services over the next several years while it builds out its own 5G network. (Dish expects to launch its first city with its own 5G service this year, but the national roll-out will take time.)

Our thought bubble: Given Dish's reliance on T-Mobile, it's reasonable to think that a public spat was not its first course of action, and that Dish has gone to regulators only after failing to convince T-Mobile to change its timing on the network shutdown.

Meanwhile: In the letter, Dish also accuses T-Mobile of flip-flopping on other spectrum issues. Where T-Mobile previously pushed for policies encouraging smaller competitors, Dish says T-Mobile is now adopting the same tactics as AT&T and Verizon.

  • "During its earlier life as the 'Un-Carrier,' T-Mobile championed policies that promoted competition, diverse spectrum ownership, and efficient spectrum use. How quickly things change," Dish says in its letter. "Now, T- Mobile opposes measures that would help new entrants and smaller providers compete."

Read the full letter.

Go deeper

Pacific Northwest's hottest weather on record takes aim this weekend

Computer model projection showing the jet stream winds and "misery index" of surface temperatures on June 27, 2021. (Earth.nullschool.net). The circulation of jet stream winds shows the location of the "heat dome" over the Pacific Northwest.

A "historic" and potentially deadly heat wave is on tap for the Pacific Northwest into southwestern Canada this weekend into early next week, with never-before-seen temperatures possible in cities like Portland, Ore., and Spokane, Wash.

Why it matters: The heat wave will affect a region where many people lack central air conditioning, raising the likelihood for public health impacts. In addition, power demand is likely to spike at a time when hydropower resources are running relatively low due to drier than average conditions.

Supreme Court rules for cheerleader punished by school for Snapchat expletives

The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Supreme Court ruled 8-1 Wednesday that a school district in Pennsylvania violated the First Amendment by punishing a cheerleader who used expletives in a Snapchat post sent while off campus.

Why it matters: The case pushed the boundaries of students' First Amendment rights and what schools can enforce outside school grounds, especially in the digital age.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The mobile gaming gold rush

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Electronic Arts this morning announced that it will pay $1.4 billion to buy Playdemic, a mobile gaming studio whose titles include "Golf Clash," from Warner Bros.

Why it matters: This comes just months after EA paid $2.1 billion to buy Glu Mobile. It also resolves talk that not all of WB Games would get included in the Discovery merger.

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