T-Mobile said it will delay the planned shutdown of Sprint’s 3G network by three months to ensure its “partners” have time to help customers with the transition. It had originally planned to phase out the network in January; that date has now been postponed to March 31, 2022.
“Recently, it has become increasingly clear that some of these partners have not fulfilled their responsibility to assist their customers in this change,” the company said in a statement. “So, we are stepping forward on his behalf.”
T-Mobile’s statement does not mention him by name, but he is probably referring to Dish Network. The two parties have become entangled with T-Mobile’s announcement that it would shut down Sprint’s legacy network, due to the impact it would have on Dish’s Boost Mobile customers.
As one of the conditions of the T-Mobile / Sprint merger, Dish acquired Boost Mobile in July 2020 with the goal of having Dish take Sprint’s place as the fourth wireless provider in the US after T- Mobile announced that it was planning to shut down Sprint’s CDMA network, Dish president Charlie Ergen compared T-Mobile to the Grinch, then said his company was doing everything it could to migrate its customers.
But T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert wrote in a blog post that Dish was “slowing down for its customers to upgrade to the upper 4G / 5G world.”
The Justice Department told Dish Network and T-Mobile in July letter It had “serious concerns” about the closure of Sprint’s legacy network, and urged both parties to take “all appropriate measures” to reduce the impact on customers still dependent on the network.