T-Mobile expects majority of Sprint network shutdown will happen in 2022

tmobile-sprint-merger-small

One of the big questions people have had about T-Mobile following its acquisition of Sprint is when T-Mo is planning to shut down the old Sprint network. This week we got a bit more info on that matter.

T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert says that the shut down of Sprint’s network will really get underway in 2022. Speaking at the UBS Global TMT Virtual Conference this week, Sievert said T-Mobile has already turned off Sprint’s network in some places, but that we’ll see it happening more in 2021 and especially in 2022.

Here’s the key part of Sievert’s response to the question about the Sprint network shutdown:

“We’ve already done some on an isolated basis, but this is mostly a 2021 and 2022 endeavor. And by the — in between those two, mostly 2022 because the actual decommissionings to your point, the premise of your question, it sounds like you understand it well. The actual decommissioning happens very late in the process.

“And so think of it more as 2022 than 2021, but you’ll see a lot of it happening through both calendar years. And this is really great. We’ve done this before. This part — this is different, of course, but this part is exactly like what we did with Metro and to where we go build that capacity on the destination network, start dynamically moving the traffic over. And then when — in each area when you’ve got enough of the traffic moved and you believe you can carry it all, you go ahead and shutdown the prior Sprint legacy network.”

T-Mo has already been repurposing some of Sprint’s network to aid in its rollout of 2.5GHz 5G, but it’ll be a while before T-Mobile is able to shut down the old Sprint network completely. That’s not a huge surprise considering that Sprint said it had more than 50 million customers earlier this year before it was acquired by T-Mobile. It takes time to communicate to customers what’s happening, make sure they’ve got a device that’ll work on T-Mobile, and so on.

Speaking of 2.5GHz 5G, Sievert also gave an update on T-Mobile’s deployment of 2.5GHz 5G. He reaffirmed that T-Mobile is on track to cover 100 million people with 2.5GHz 5G by the end of 2020, with that number expected to double to 200 million by the end of 2021.

Via: Light Reading
Source: Seeking Alpha

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  • Shaun Michalak

    T-Mobile is on track to cover 100 million people with 2.5GHz 5G by the
    end of 2020, with that number expected to double to 200 million by the
    end of 2021

    The real question is, is that more good 5G or just usable band 71 5G?? and just how much of that “good” 5G is going to be in rural areas?? Or will it only be in cities??

    • slybacon

      Tmo 2.5GHz 5G is Band n41. 100 million is about 1/3 of the US population. It’ll obviously start in higher density areas quicker.

      • Shaun Michalak

        I know that.. My point was.. just how much is going to be installed in places that are not highly congested areas.. Small towns, suburbs, etc.. Are they going to get any of that band 41 love?? Or do you have to live in cities where you only have to walk 20 feet to be at your neighbors house..

    • Brad C

      Of course they’re going to put b41 on any site they can.. that’s what makes b71 “usable” at long distances, especially as they start pushing home 5G. It would be dumb of them to not put 600/700/1700/1900/2500 on every site that has the capacity.

      • Shaun Michalak

        I thought the same thing of band 71… Then I realized after checking into things a bit, that they only installed band 71 on about half of all towers in my city..

        • Brad C

          Well that’s normal. They do about half, until most markets are done then go back and fill it in

          At full power n71 should cover the same area with half the sites.

          Every carrier does upgrades this way. Not just T-Mobile.

        • Shaun Michalak

          But there is one major drawback to doing half tower installations.. Yes, it does do some boosting of bandwidth, but when you are doing 2 towers worth of people on one tower, that majorly diminishes the benefits of having it at all.. Especially when that frequency is so low that bandwidth is limited from the start..

          I was guessing the same thing about the coming back, but then again, I am also wondering just how long that “go back and fill it in” time frame will be.. There is a big difference between came back next year, and 2 years later seeing nothing..

        • Brad C

          You’re not wrong. But that’s just how it works with every carrier. They do a base rollout and come back later

          600/700 is more about indoor coverage than it is capacity, so they’re not going to be super pressed to make a huge amount of progress before they get sprint integrated to a certain degree

        • Shaun Michalak

          True, but when all you are doing is installing it inside cities, the towers are so close together that most people will not need the low band to get a decent signal.. That is, unless you live in a metal building with tons of electronics and wiring all around you.. Basic homes though.. In cities.. Not too much of an improvement in coverage..

  • Shaun Michalak

    I found an area in a rural area where T-Mobiles coverage was bad, But a sprint tower was OK.. as in about 3 bars of service.. Well, I stopped and did a speed test.. Man, and I thought T-Mobiles service was not that great where I live.. It took me a few tries just to get a speed test to go fully through.. and when it did, it was something like 1mb down at best.. I like the extra coverage I get from those Sprint towers.. Especially where T-Mobile has none.. But, they need to do more to convert those Sprint towers over to T-Mobile towers, and add that extra frequency to them so that people get some decent service off of them..

    • Brad C

      Well part of integration is going to be upgrading backbone and replacing panels/radios on Sprint sites that have service in “new” areas. They’ll get to it and add all the bands.. but it just takes time.

      • Shaun Michalak

        Oh I know that.. It just surprised me that it was that bad where I was at.. I get that kind of service where I live, but I live in the middle of town, by a hospital and high rise apartments.. and homes are very close together, so there is a lot of congestion.. Where I was at was more toward country areas, not in main towns, which is why I expected better speeds since it was not a congested area.. I did not expect 50mb down, but it just surprised me that I could not get 2mb down..

    • SteelRiderCarl

      T-Mobile’s service has really dropped off a cliff bad more recently for me. A lot of the time I’ll be able to GPS myself to a place but when I get there I can’t even get enough service to get myself out! It had been happening if I had one or two bars but now I’m seeing it even when my bars are FULL! I’m considering switching but the customer service won’t even help me unlock my paid for phones to do it.

      • mckillio

        What phones do you have? They may be the problem.

        • Shaun Michalak

          you forgot.. and just how long have you had it?? If you bought the phone outright, and paid it off on day one, you have to have that phone in operation, on a plan, on their service, for a certain length of time, and your plan has to have been kept in good standings during that time..

        • SteelRiderCarl

          Listen here. I’ve been a MODEL customer! I have had SEVERAL lines all auto paid for years, and yes, I bought it outright back in May. There’s no excuses.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Touchy.. I was not gearing the question specifically at you.. More along the lines of a lot of people think that a cell phone will be unlocked the second it is fully paid for, and ignore or do not realize that there is a time it has to be used on the network..For example, if you have a prepaid account, the phone has to have been fully paid for, and have had over 1 year or $100 in refills before they will unlock the phone.. Or if someone is owes money to the company, that they will not unlock it..

          I know a lot of companies have had problems with unlocking I-Phones a couple of years ago too.. Not sure if this is still a problem, but that might come into play..

        • SteelRiderCarl

          Well, it’s all done now. Androids with the unlock app are such a cinch in comparison. Two clicks and it’s done.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I can not disagree.. I have always used androids and I have never had a problem getting any of them unlocked.. But then again, Android does give some power to the people and the companies, where apple is all about seizing and keeping power.. The fact that they will not even allow you to install anything outside of their store proves that.. I do not like the complete controlling aspect of apple which is why I stay away from their products..

        • SteelRiderCarl

          So, here it is… I’ve been an Android user for for 10 years and the SE was the first iPhone I bought as a personal device. 64 GB for $399 wasn’t bad but I dropped the $550 and went for the 256 GB model. I’m mightily satisfied… in general. There are things that as an iPhone, it just doesn’t do! But no. I’m not referring to the fact that there is no headphone jack. I got an affordable ruggedized connector and I use my wired headphones just fine, and audio through the lightning port in the car is great even with slightly older stereos. No SD card is a bummer, too, but eh. I’m managing. The big things are all software related. They could use the NFC chip for things like tap to pair and connecting to my standalone cameras and easily transferring pictures to other phones. They don’t. They could allow custom skins and fonts and side loading. They don’t. But what’s great? Little to no “rot”, five years of support guaranteed and battery replacements much simpler and easier than lots of us would have believed. I have used a 6S for work for about three years and it’s every bit as competent as when my company issued it. Those things and hopefully having a phone I won’t be itching to replace again anytime soon are what I’m really hoping for. Hopefully, Google and Android phone manufacturers change their stance and start providing guaranteed updates for a longer time and hopefully the next time I’m itching to replace my phone, I’m craving a good long lasting Android.

        • Shaun Michalak

          There are a few things that turn me off of the Iphones.. First, like you said.. No MicroSD support.. I keep all my pictures and stuff on an SD card.. I switch phones, it fries, etc.. I just pull it out and lose nothing.. Now, I could save all my stuff on the cloud, but that is not what I want to do.. So that is a big downfall to me..

          Second would be no replaceable battery.. I like the idea that if I want to get a different battery, all I have to do is take the back off, pop a new one in, and off I go.. I do not want to have to solder a new one in place, or go to a store, or send it back to the factory to get it replaced..

          I agree that they need a better upgrade plan for new phones.. This whole, you get one update to the OS if you are lucky, which a lot of phones get, is not that great..

          I use mainly 3.5mm jack headphones, so no headphone jack and relying only on blutooth for connections is not going to do me any good.. I do use a blutooth headset, but that is for talking on the phone.. Not listening to music..

          I am not sure about the newest Iphones, but I know some of the older ones require a special plug to charge the phone.. With android, you can get a new cord just about anywhere.. I think the newest ones do use universal plugs though..

          I know from my amazon devices just how restricted a device can be when it comes to being able to get the software that you want on your phone or device.. any software for an Iphone has to be apple approved, etc.. For example, I use Cellmapper for tracking.. There is no support for it on apple products.. nor the kindle fire either.. That is just one app that I have used that I like that is not supported on apple products..

        • SteelRiderCarl

          All totally valid. I miss the extent of how well you can change the experience on an Android. And yes. They’re still using lightning, but to charge I usually my Samsung charge pad and it works fine. If I’m using headphones, it’s 3.5mm, but I use Bluetooth on my stereo a lot. Everybody’s a different user and we all do things just a little bit differently. Even between my work phone and this I operate differently.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I agree.. It is like I said.. I prefer 3.5mm to listen to music, but wireless to talk on the phone.. In a sense, it is similar things, but 2 different methods.. As for charge pads, it all depends on how good of a phone you get as to if the phone supports charge pads.. One of my phones is a Stylo, and that phone does not support charge pads.. But some people really need them because they are so careless that plugging a phone in to charge it, they constantly break the charging cord or port.

          There is one thing I can give to Android users though.. For the most part, you do not have to have a certain version of android to use apps on it.. If an app will run on version 5, it will most likely run on version 10 too.. and vise versa.. So even if you do not update the OS, it is not like you are being shorted on being able to use apps..

        • SteelRiderCarl

          A BRAND NEW iPhone SE. Granted, there are the RARE times that it delivers in spades, hitting some really nice 100 MBPS speeds, but even then, the latency blows. It used to always be ultra fast, like around maybe 20 ms, but now it’s between 80 and 100ms. My 5 year old work-provided iPhone 6S using Verizon rips it to shreds with consistently faster speeds and latency on par with what I used to get. T-Mobile has already replaced the SIM and that did basically nothing. At least 90% of the time I’m getting speeds comparable to what I used to get on my Motorola Cliq from 10 years ago, but at least the Cliq had an excuse. I’ve had plenty of instances where the phone will get me one place but then when I go to leave, just trying to get directions times out, and that’s with usually having 2 bars, but I’ve even seen it time out with a full, strong signal. I’m seriously considering leaving this monkey business.

        • mckillio

          Definitely not the phone then.

        • SteelRiderCarl

          Exactly. :)

  • This is nothing like the metro merger larger network and more customers. Im all for it and understands that it will take time

  • Glenn Gore

    95% of US population lives on 5% of the land area, so it will be a VERY long time before this mid-band spectrum is a factor across wide stretches of the country. That is the crux of the ruse perpetrated by the carriers when touting their coverage. They always use population instead of land area and never make a distinction between the two.

    Most of the population can be covered quite easily over a 2-year period of time by building coverage in the top urban metro areas, which should be the end of it according to some people. They say that there is no need to cover anywhere else because “no one lives there” or “it costs too much to build rural coverage”. Of course this ignores the fact that most people do not stay in their little urban enclave all the time. US citizens by and large are mobile, they travel, for whatever reason. You have to ignore all the traffic on interstates, US and state highways in order to postulate this position, and it falls apart very quickly.

    Of course the old saw is that “If you need coverage somewhere just get service from another carrier who offers service there”, which way back in the day, carrying more than one phone was something a lot of people did. It was untenable then and is even more untenable now. People do NOT want to have to own several different devices with several different phone numbers in order to take a cross-country road-trip with their family to Yellowstone for example. They want, demand, and expect their carrier to offer this coverage, which I do not think is an unreasonable demand. T-Mobile has done a great job with their LTE coverage and is making good progress with their low-band 5G, so I hope they will do it with mid-band as well, but it will take quite a few years to accomplish it.

  • mckillio

    Has and if not when are TMobile customers going to get Sprint coverage? Not including their 2.5Ghz spectrum that will be for 5G.

    • Mike Smith

      Never. It’s getting shut down, Sprint had nothing worth keeping.

      • mckillio

        That’s certainly not true.

        • Mike Smith

          It is true, they merged to get the spectrum. Everything else was just unwanted baggage.

        • mckillio

          You just proved yourself wrong.

  • Mike Smith

    Can’t come too soon.

  • mckillio

    I did. They’re keeping over 11,000 Sprint towers for better coverage and adding non 2.5 GHz spectrum on TMobile towers. But that still doesn’t answer my question.

    I assume the answer to some extent has to be they already have but I really want more details.