In the latest Dish Network and T-Mobile news, the two camps have submitted opposing comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the latter’s plan to shut down its CDMA network by January 2022.
Earlier this month, Dish sent a letter to the FCC complaining about the premature shutdown date citing that this would cause “significant device/chip shortages that make it even more difficult to acquire compatible replacement devices prior to the shutdown.”
This was backed by a telecom financial analyst, who agreed that the premature CDMA shutdown could cause Dish to lose a substantial number of its Boost customers, since customers will be required to purchase a new 5G device.
Dish argued that “a forced migration of this scale under this accelerated time frame is simply not possible” as millions of Boost subscribers could lose cell service in January.
In response to Dish’s filing, T-Mobile cited an agreement it made with Dish where they would need to give Dish a six-month advance notice of its plans to shut down the CDMA network. T-Mobile also shared that they gave Dish more than that since it gave them a 14-month advance notice.
T-Mobile believes that the current situation of Boost is the result of Dish’s poor planning. “Dish appears to have taken minimal steps to begin migrating its customers to 5G.”
“Dish actually has been adding a substantial number of new customers onto the CDMA network each month and has extended the end date for new legacy Sprint network activations from January 1, 2021 to June 1, 2021, despite the fact that ceasing new CDMA activations would be a very simple step to take to move toward a timely migration.”
The Un-Carrier also pointed out that Dish is likely aware of the supply situation for several months but “has apparently failed to undertake the necessary actions to hedge supply shortages of its preferred devices.”
T-Mobile points out that it had previously offered to help the company obtain devices.
“We are migrating all of T-Mobile’s CDMA customers — a much larger number of customers — on exactly the same timelines as Dish’s Boost-branded customer base. This belies any suggestion that it can’t be done on a timely basis or that sticking with our agreed-upon timeline is somehow anti-competitive.”
T-Mobile argues that its migration to 5G should not be delayed, especially since 5G offers faster speeds and better 911 location accuracy.