T-Mobile responds to Dish’s FCC filing over premature CDMA shutdown date

t-mobile-responds-dish-fcc-filing-over-premature-cdma-shutdown-date

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.

 

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  • MisterListerSir

    Dish: It can’t be done!

    T-Mobile: Here, hold my beer.

    • Jose Hernandez

      lol, this made me laugh.

  • Shaun Michalak

    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.

    I loved that comment.. It made me laugh..

    One thing that really gets me is the fact that Dish is acting like this effects all of their Boost customers.. When in fact, it is really just effecting their 3G CDMA only phone customers.. anyone with a 4G phone will not have to worry as they will not lose service. and since pretty much all the phones bought in the past 5 years or more are going to be 4G LTE phones, with a good portion of them, if not more, are going to support T-Mobiles bands 2, 4, and 12.

    • Zerovanity

      5Years is about right for Apple. The iPhone 5S, which does not support VoLTE and thus needs to be replaced was discontinued a little over 5 years ago.

      • Shaun Michalak

        I actually went back and checked phones that were released in 2015 and 2016, and 2016 was when I found that “Boost” phones started carrying LTE phones.. Some of, if not all of the phones in 2015 did not have LTE service on them.. But these were pure boost releases, so I was not going off of any other carriers phones.

        • Brad C

          Well, selling a 3G only phone on Sprint’s network is just asking for trouble anyway.. as there’s no way someone could realistically be using that for anything meaningful now anyway.

          Dish just needs to suck it up and issue software updates for phones that can do VoLTE but have it disabled in software, and migrate the others to some cheap Alcatel.

        • Shaun Michalak

          It is not just Sprint.. Heck, any tower that T-Mobile has put up in the past 7 years, they have had no 3G service installed on, so you probably would only get 15% of their network coverage on T-Mobile by having a 3G phone.. It would not surprise me if the other companies are about the same way with coverage..

        • Brad C

          Verizon and AT&Ts native coverage area is mostly covered with 3G.. T-Mobile you are correct though.

          Sprint my comment is more about capacity.. as their 3G was never really good to begin with, data wise. The network is 100% covered with 1x Voice, but the EvDO capacity…oooof

        • Shaun Michalak

          Considering that Sprints coverage across the US, in square miles was only something like 30% to start off with.. I do not think it would make a huge difference one way or the other with them..

          I had a friend that was on AT&T and left them a few years back.. When he left them, he had a 3G phone, and he noticed a lot of places that their 3G service was starting to lack, where it was there, and then was not.. I have no idea how much of their coverage this happened to, but it was obviously enough that he noticed.. No idea about Verizon..

        • Brad C

          HSPA is far different than 1×2000. HSPA requires 3.8 or 6MHz carriers to do what 1x can do in 1.25MHz

          Also AT&Ts HSPA network was never really anything to write home about anyway. Anytime I would try AT&T prior to the EDGE/GSM shutdown, I had far too many places I would drop to EDGE/GSM anyway, and I fly all over the country for work.

          Actually, until FirstNet started getting rolled out, AT&T was so sketchy on my travels that I couldn’t even consider them as an option as in metro areas T-Mobile was better and how I ended up on T-Mobile in the first place haha

          Verizon, their 1x is still solid today as with DSS it’s bought them some more time before they need to reclaim that few MHz for LTE.

        • Shaun Michalak

          My friend was an over the road truck driver.. He kept using his 3G phone even after 4G came out because it was one of the better 3G phones that were out, and he bought it unlocked.. and he did not want to spend a lot of money on another phone when his worked fine.

          Me, I am waiting for T-Mobile do get done with the merger, and getting all those Sprint towers converted over to their network.. That and get 5G upgraded with both, bands 41 and 71 too.. Then, I think they will have an on par network with even Verizon..

          I know from my travels, I have seen a significant difference in coverage in places since I have been able to jump off of those Sprint towers.. that, and the additional towers that they have put up that are T-mobile towers too.. I have seen coverage from them in places that AT&T does not even try to say that they have coverage in too..

          One thing I would like to see.. An updated comparison map like they used to have, where you can compare coverage between all 3 main carriers.. The one that they have up is so outdated, that it does not include a lot of the new towers that they put up, or the extra service from the Sprint towers that they are going to keep..

  • Shaun Michalak

    Slightly off topic.. Did anyone read the badly written articles about the new FCC app are?? They are checking to see what and where high speed internet is available, and how fast current available speeds are.. From the FCC site, they say it is so they can test both, wired, and wireless services.. But when you read the articles online from different places, they are so vague that they make you question what they are trying to test.. For example, they mention tests from Verizon and AT&T, both of which have wired and wireless services.. But never mention pure wired or wireless services like, for example, how T-Mobile is only wireless, and Comcast is really only wired..

    They also mention broadband, which is more wired.. But then say, here is an app for your phone, which implies wireless.. and no mention of any computer app either.. I had to go read the FCC’s site to find out what was going on.. I was just wondering if anyone else read the articles on other sites too, and if they left others as confused to them as it did to me??

    • Augustine

      Permissions details:
      – Photos/Media/Files
      – Wi-Fi connection information
      – Device ID & call information
      – Phone
      – Location
      – Storage
      – Other

      • Shaun Michalak

        WOW.. I can see no reason why they need access to anything more then a data connection, and location services.. Storage, photos, files, call info, etc.. This makes me think that there is more to what they are collecting then what they want us to believe.. Hidden agendas??

        I just found it odd that the media articles that I read left things so vague that I was not sure if they were trying to test wired, or wireless.. I was just wondering if anyone felt like that too.. But if this app requires all that you said, I definitely will NOT be installing it on my phone.. Just what I need.. A government program spying on me, on my own phone.. No thank you..

        • Zerovanity

          In order to verify you are not doing so thing stupid like being far from your Wi-Fi router it needs Wi-Fi info. Devise ID and phone information to determine your device capabilities. That you aren’t testing on a 802.11b phone. The phone permission is needed to access the LTE/NR information. What bands are you using? What tower are you using etc. Location is needed because they are mapping. Storage and files is likely for logs. In other words, most/all of these are completely legitimate.

        • Shaun Michalak

          So first of all, half of this makes no sense.. The first thing is not about if you are using a B router or device, because that takes nothing into account for all other traffic on your wireless network.. Even if you did use a B wireless phone, they should use an average for the area, not one persons phone as fact all.. All they would need to do is average that area out, which they can do with location services.. and the speed test can tell what service you are on by using the IP address that you are connected to for the other info.. And that would only be for home WiFi use, which they already stated that wired connections should always be used for testing..

          What the heck does seeing my photots have to do with anything? What does seeing how much space I have left on phone have to do with anything? No offense, but if Ookla does not need it, Cell mapper does not need it, and root metrics does not need it, then I see no reason why the FCC app should need it..

          As I said before.. I can go with location services, and things like that.. But my photos and how much space I have used on my phone should have nothing to do with how fast my connection is.

        • Joseph McCovery

          What the heck does seeing my photots have to do with anything? What does
          seeing how much space I have left on phone have to do with anything? No
          offense, but if Ookla does not need it, Cell mapper does not need it,
          and root metrics does not need it, then I see no reason why the FCC app
          should need it..

          Have you actually looked at all the permissions of some of these apps?

          Speedtest: (Files/Media automatically denied)

          Read the contents of your shared storage
          Access precise/approximate location in the background
          Read phone status and identity
          Google Play billing service
          Have full network access
          View network connections
          View Wi-Fi connections
          Run at startup
          Run foreground service
          Prevent phone from sleeping
          Receive data from internet
          Play Install Referrer API

          FCC Speedtest: (Phone and Files/Media automatically denied)

          Read the contents of your shared storage
          Modify or delete the contents of your shared storage
          Access approximate/precise location only in the background
          Read phone status and identity
          Have full network access
          Run at startup
          View network connections
          Prevent phone from sleeping
          View Wi-Fi connections
          Play Install Referrer API
          Run foreground service

          Even CellMapper has the exact same permissions as the FCC Speedtest app…

        • Rob Radina

          They don’t need it to perform their stated function but selling that data to anyone who will buy it must provide a decent revenue stream. If not, they wouldn’t collect it.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Last time I installed cellmapper, or speedtest apps, they did not ask for those permissions.. Maybe they changed them over the years, since it has been a couple of years sine I installed them?? Cellmapper just gets updated since then.. But I never had a permission that came up asking for me to give them access to my photos.. and speedtest.. Since i found that it was not always accurate, i uninstalled that one a while back.. Half of the time, that app would give me the speeds that were half what multiple other speed test apps would give me, so I found it to be unreliable..

    • Rob Radina

      I thought Comcast resold Verizon’s as an MVNO. Regardless of who owns the actual wireless network, I’d think the FCC would want to distinguish between Comcast as an MVNO and Comcast as a “hard line” provider. MVNOs can have a different priority than the owner of the wireless network. They can probably also have different traffic management schemes that result in different performance than the owner’s customers.

      • Shaun Michalak

        I am not sure about Comcast, but I do know that Spectrum does that.. They use Verizon towers for their service.. But that is just it.. They may have the Spectrum, or Comcast name attached to the service, but it still uses one of the main companies towers. That is why I said that.. Because they do not own the towers, or the service themselves. I know with me, I am on a Metro line, but when I do a speed test, it does not come up as Metro as the provider, it says T-Mobile.. I would assume that the app would see the same thing, as they probably go off of the towers, and the IP addresses of those towers to register the info.

        • Rob Radina

          Both Spectrum and Comcast are a Verizon MVNO. Regarding what carrier speed test application see, no clue. I believe both carriers also offload phones to their Wi-Fi network which muddies the waters even more.

  • mingkee

    Dish has forgotten T-Mobile is turning off 2G (GSM and CDMA) and 3G (UMTS and EV) in a couple of years.
    It’s entire network and Dish isn’t exception

    • Shaun Michalak

      Actually, Dish is lucky that T-Mobile is not being a prick about things.. As far as I know, they are only requiring T-Mobile to have a network.. There is nothing that I know of that T-Mobile can not drop the amount of bandwidth down to almost nothing. or for good measures, just put it only on the 800mhz range, the same range that they are going to be selling to DISH, so that leaves DISH in a position that when they buy it, they are forcing it’s shutdown itself.. The only problem is, for them to fully upgrade the site, they can not do that, and keep 3G up too.. Too much hassle.. Which puts T-Mobile in a bad spot.. So I really do not blame them for wanting to shut it down.

  • Augustine

    “Dish actually has been adding a substantial number of new customers onto the CDMA network each month.”

    What can this mean, when most smartphones that do CDMA can also do GSM nowadays? Could Dish be marketing to the customers on CDMA feature phones that T-Mobile or Verizon are shedding? Then again, how could that amount to any “substantial number of customers”?

    • marque2

      Don’t know how it could be substantial, but T-mobile would have a record of every new Boost phone that is using CDMA. It wouldn’t be hard for T-mobile to prove.

      • Augustine

        Sounds like Dish just let Boost continue to do business as usual, instead of directing them to stop activating new customers on CDMA. Their trying to moralize the issue as greed reeks of a distraction.

        • Eric Jay Hilgart

          Sounds to me like Dish wants a regulatory body to give Dish not just the 800MHz spectrum, but the CDMA network as well.

    • Shaun Michalak

      My thoughts are one of two things.. First, maybe people are signing up for their cheap plans, and using old phones to do so.. Since 3G phones cost next to nothing, they can get service going for next to nothing.. In this case, since they have a 7 year contract with T-Mobile, they should be forcing them to get at least a 4G LTE phone.. The second idea would be that most of these phones are actually 4G phones, but with a CDMA base for 3G service, instead of GSM.. But the fact that they said that new activation’s of CDMA phones has been pushed back from January to June, this tells me that they are pure 3G phones.. and Dish is doing this on purpose.. Not sure what they are trying to accomplish.. Maybe throwing a hissy fit like a spoiled little brat because something was not going there way..

      Either way, I believe that all of the companies, except Dish, has stopped activating any new phones on their networks off of 3G service.