T-Mobile has announced that it will shut down Sprint’s LTE network by June 30, 2022.
The carrier acquired Sprint in April of last year for $26 billion. In the time since, T-Mobile has used Sprint’s spectrum and tower assets to further its 5G rollout. The company said it has already shifted about 33% of Sprint customers onto its T-Mobile network.
"Moving customers who are on old networks onto modern, advanced high-speed networks means they will need to have phones and devices that can tap into the latest technologies and don't rely on older ones,” T-Mobile wrote on its website. “We'll ensure that we support our customers and partners through the transition. We began sending notifications late last year, and everyone who needs to act will be given advanced notice and hear directly from T-Mobile.”
Shutting down older network
Once Sprint’s LTE network is officially retired, T-Mobile says customers will still be able to use Sprint LTE and 5G devices.
“The good news is most Sprint LTE and 5G devices are compatible with the T-Mobile LTE or 5G network and will continue to operate on T-Mobile's LTE and 5G networks,” the company said.
Customers who want to continue using their old device can follow these steps:
Replace the Sprint SIM card with a T-Mobile SIM card;
Ensure Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is enabled in device settings for voice calls (on applicable devices).
T-Mobile joins other wireless providers in shutting down older networks in order to free up resources for newer technologies. AT&T announced that it plans to shut down its 3G network early next year, and Verizon said it plans to shut down its 3G network at the beginning of 2023.