A month ago, Dish Network called T-Mobile “anti-competitive” because of its premature CDMA shutdown date. Today, it looks like Dish is taking its disappointment over T-Mobile seriously by writing a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
In the letter, Dish accused T-Mo of being “Un-Carrier”. They also highlighted a number of issues they have with T-Mobile, including its current spectrum policies. But the key issue that Dish is claiming against T-Mobile continues to be its aggressive timeline for its Sprint CDMA network shutdown. According to Dish, this premature event will hurt over 9 million of its wireless customers.
Considering Dish is still a new entry to the mobile industry, they still depend on T-Mobile for its network services. And they have enough reason for doing so, since it was part of the merger conditions. When Dish agreed to buy Boost Mobile, this was part of the agreement. It does have plans to move the 9 million subscribers it acquired in the deal to its own 5G network. But in order to do that, Dish will need time to build that network.
The disagreement all stemmed from T-Mobile’s announcement that it will shut down part of its network on January 1, 2022. Unfortunately, this is a timeline that Dish cannot meet, especially with device and chip shortages. If T-Mobile will push through with this timeline, it will leave “millions of Boost Mobile subscribers disenfranchised and without cell service.”
The initial agreement was that Dish would have three to five years access to Sprint’s CDMA network. This will give them enough time to build their own 5G network and fully migrate their Boost Mobile customers.
According to Boost Mobile’s CEO Stephen Stokols, T-Mobile’s premature shut down of Sprint’s CDMA network “reinforces our view that they are planning to directly attack Boost customers with an accelerated shutdown in order to churn customers directly to T-Mobile.”
Stokols believes that “this is highly anti-competitive.” They are also hoping for T-Mobile to reconsider its decision to prematurely shutdown the CDMA network so that its Boost Mobile customers will not be affected and that Dish can continue providing its customers “with competitive choices.”