Just as T-Mobile’s impending 3G CDMA shutdown neared, the carrier has announced that it’s delaying the shutdown by a few months.
On Friday, T-Mobile explained that it hoped to sunset the aging network as soon as possible to improve its 5G network for the best Android phones while giving its partners “plenty of time and resources to take care of their customers as well.”
However, T-Mobile says its partners “haven’t followed through on their responsibility to help their customers through this shift,” and it’s become clear that the original January 1, 2022 deadline would need to be pushed back.
Even though T-Mobile does not directly name Dish, it’s clear that the new carrier is among the “partners” mentioned. Dish has been piggybacking on T-Mobile’s network as it works to build and launch its own network. Meanwhile, Dish took over ownership of Boost Mobile, which still relies on the aging 3G CDMA network, as a condition of the Sprint merger.
However, in a bid to boost its 5G efforts, T-Mobile made preparations to sunset the CDMA network to repurpose the spectrum, much to Dish’s dismay. The carrier has pleaded with T-Mobile to reconsider its timeline, to the point where the DOJ became involved, expressing “grave concerns” that the deadline may not provide Dish enough time to move its customers over.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert has accused Dish of “dragging their feet” with its transition efforts, a sentiment further expressed in Friday’s announcement.
There should be no more room for excuses. We have provided even more time and those partners can follow suit with the effort that is needed to ensure no one is left on the wrong side of the digital divide.
While this should give Dish more time to prepare for the shutdown, it’s not clear if this will be a sufficient enough extension to transition customers that still rely on the network. We’ve reached out to Dish for comment but did not immediately receive a response.