We learned this week that T-Mobile has begun merging Sprint’s network with its own, with 2.5GHz 5G going live in Philadelphia and launching soon in New York City soon. As T-Mobile refarms Sprint’s 2.5GHz 5G to use for its own network, customers with Sprint’s older 5G phones from 2019 will lose 5G access, but T-Mobile is planning offers to help those people move to a new 5G phone.
Sprint customers affected by this change will have the chance to get a discount on a Samsung Galaxy S20 at a discounted price. T-Mobile explained to CNET that the exact deal a customer gets will depend on how much they’re paying per month for their current Sprint 5G phone:
- Customers who own, lease, or are making payments on a OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, Galaxy S10 5G, or LG V50 ThinQ and are paying less than $10 per month can get a Galaxy S20 5G for $0 per month after a $41.67 per month bill credit with a new 18-month lease.
- Subscribers who lease or make payments on a OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, Galaxy S10 5G, or LG V50 ThinQ and are paying more than $10 per month can get a Galaxy S20 5G for $10 per month after a $31.67 per month bill credit with a new 18-month lease.
- Customers who bought an HTC 5G Hub on an installment plan will get a credit of $12.50 per month for the remainder of their term. Those who bought the HTC 5G Hub outright will get a one-time credit of $300 on their bill.
T-Mobile had planned to allow Sprint’s Galaxy S10 5G to work with T-Mo’s mmWave 5G network while its S10 5G would work with the refarmed Sprint mid-band spectrum. However, CNET notes that the S10 5G can’t use the LTE anchor band for 2.5GHz 5G that T-Mobile is using, a band combination that’s different from what Sprint has used, and that this combo is needed so Sprint customers on mid-band spectrum LTE won’t be affected by the change.
These older Sprint 5G devices also lack the ability to connect to T-Mobile’s 600MHz 5G network.
Those phones will still have 4G LTE support, but some owners might be frustrated that they bought a 5G device that ended up losing the ability to connect to a 5G network due to the merger. T-Mobile is planning to contact the people who bought Sprint 5G phones and tell them that they’ll need a new device to use 5G, so they shouldn’t end up unable to connect to 5G and be left wondering what happened.