T-Mobile officially reveals Sprint’s CDMA 3G network shut down date

t-mobile-cdma-3g-network-shutdown-date

It’s official! T-Mobile will be shutting down Sprint’s CDMA 3G network on January 1, 2022. 

The information was revealed in an internal memo that was obtained by this report. The memo details the company’s plans to continue building the best 5G network in the country and in doing so, the older technologies will be retired. 

The memo also reveals some important things to know on how this information can be relayed to affected customers. And in addition to that, T-Mobile has plans to introduce different offers to encourage customers to get a new phone that will support its evolving network. 

T-Mobile has already started to notify affected customers, especially those who are still 12+ months into their current lease or own their device. The Un-Carrier will also be sending out additional emails to remind customers of this upcoming change later in the year. 

Meanwhile, T-Mobile Business customers were informed of the CDMA 3G network shutdown date back in December 2020 to ensure that they have a full year to make necessary changes. 

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  • aLdo

    who cares but im first !

    • JR

      You cared enough to post first! Good one! I care because you do!

      • Nathan

        121 down, 34 up – TMO 5G

        And that’s in a non-retail, non-commercial, non-urban area…

    • Shaun Michalak

      I identify as being first, so I win.. lol

  • Trevnerdio

    Nice. Let’s get this ultrawideband 5G party started.

    • Shaun Michalak

      Not me.. They can brag about their 5G all they want.. But to me, I am not upgrading to a 5G phone until it is mostly fully supported.. I hate upgrading phones unless I have to, or their is a reason too.. and right now, they 5G phones do not support VoNR, nor do they support CA, both of which will be needed for good service.. Once they get both of those coming in, then you will start to see more people really taking off to buy phones..

      I think there are enough people that bought into the whole 5G thing right from the start, that are now pissed because they found out that the early 5G phones did not support too much for 5G use in its full capabilities.. and people are now waiting because the word got around about 5G and its hype being a disappointment from the start.. Add in their lack of B41 support that is installed… not to mention that even the newest phones do not support 3ghz+ ranges, which will be needed for full coverage on some carriers..

      Yea, it got started.. But then stalled.. and it will not get in full swing until they fix all the glitches with 5G (especially software problems on the phone like the one that apple just fixed on theirs), get it installed with more then just B71 across the board, etc..

      • covfefe

        The majority of cell phone users do not understand what true 5G is. If their phone shows 5G, then they believe it.

        So I don’t see a rush of ppl running to get 5G phones once enhancements are made. Marketing would need to emphasize a new device or purpose to get the majority of users to want to jump in.

        • Shaun Michalak

          What it is?? Heck, I would guess that only about 5% of the population, at best, even understand that they will not have full 5G capabilities until at least the X60 chip comes out.. But that right now, with the x55 chip, that it does not support VoNR or CA, which limits 5G’s abilities..

      • Glenn Gore

        I think you are making the right decision at this point in time. I am just not seeing anything performance-wise that would indicate that 5G is a must-have right now. Nothing at all.

        My entire area is covered with 5G now, every single tower, and yet I see one bar of 5G nearly everywhere I go unless I am within a couple miles of a tower. (All T-Mobile’s towers are spaced around 16 miles apart) You have to be within a mile of a tower to see 4 bars of signal. The Band 71 5G signal level drops off a cliff more than a couple miles from a tower and then the Band 2 LTE kicks in until you get really close to the next tower and 5G kicks back in. This is very counterintuitive to how things should be with LTE on 2.5 GHz and 5G on 600 MHz, yet that’s the way it is.

        That one bar of 5G is usable, you don’t get drop-outs or anything and good data speeds, but that frequency of signal is supposed to far outdo Band 2, but it simply does not. Maybe the fact it is 5G has something to do with it, but after having 5G available for quite a while now, a lot of things about its utility are becoming much more clear, and what is clear is that T-Mobile has a LOT of work to do, and a LOT of site densification to do, to make 5G really usable. The modem updates for the Qualcomm modems in iPhones in iOS 14.5 and .6 have done a bit of good with the situation but there is only so much they can do.

        • marque2

          I find sometimes it is better to have my phone on 4g for road trips. It seems handoffs between 5g and 4g don’t work well so I have data service drops more often.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I completely agree.. I think there is still a lot of bugs in the phones which is causing a lot of the 5G problems, and that comes from the manufacturers, not from T-Mobile.. Apple’s latest update proved that to be a problem.. and in my area, as far as I know, no band 41 around here, just band 71.. and I am not jumping for the greatness of band 71 5G.. lol Still, I am going to wait until they get some phones out with the X60 chip in them, and not the x55 chip they are currently using.. then the phone will have support for CA and VoNR too..

      • fastm3driver

        I just had a Facebook friend post a picture of his 5g speeds bragging that he finally got it in his area. So I went to check my speeds with a non-5g phone and I was like 30% faster down, 2x up, and my pings were 3x faster. Lol

        • Shaun Michalak

          lol.. I bet that they only have it with band 71, which is what it is like in my city.. But then again, if he is on Verizon or AT&T, then their 5G is slower then their 4G is, so it does not surprise me..

        • kanakamaoli

          Been getting 700+MB down 60MB Up 10ms ping times in Honolulu on T-Mobile 5G.4G LTE caps out about 220MB Down and 40MB up 120ms ping times

        • fastm3driver

          Yeah. I get a 7ms ping too. No idea what I’d even want 5g.

      • Trevnerdio

        SA 5G does support VoNR and T-Mobile has it rolled out, they just need to work on making it ubiquitous.

        As for the rest, yeah, it’s still in its infancy. That’s why I’m saying let’s get the legacy networks shutdown and focus all the energy on 5G. I’m excited to see where we’ll be in January.

        • Shaun Michalak

          T-Mobile supports it.. But the X55 chip does not.. Since all that is in the phones right now are the X55 chip, which does not support VoNR or CA, we have to wait for the x60 chip for them to both work with the phones..

      • marque2

        By the time the full 5g service comes out, it will be time to upgrade my current 5g phone. I know you are metro, but T-Mobile had such great promos on 5g phones all year that you would be silly not to have upgraded. (Well except for that awful Samsung A32)

        • Shaun Michalak

          Personally, I would not even say it comes down to being a Metro customers.. Unless they offered me one for under $100, I would not upgrade to a 5G one right now.. I just hate switching phones.. Plus, all the problems I have seen being said about using it on 5G, like the poor connections, signals, etc.. Until they get them worked out a little better, like apple just did, I do not think that I would even want to get a 5G phone for 5G use. and if I am not going to be using the 5G until they get it fixed on the phones, then what is the point of getting one??

        • marque2

          I am a cheapskate so I chose LG and knew there would be some troubles. If you get one of the Samsung S21 FE edition phones when they go on sale, they much more stable – if you need it. I don’t give “Like Apple – and they got it right” kudos, because it is just the fanboi’s in denial about the problems that exist. And of course Apple was also 2 years late.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I never said apple got it right.. Just that they got it done better after that update.. I will bet that all cell phone brands are still having problems right now, no matter the type of phone.. It just comes down to how bad it actually is.. The problem is, I have not heard of one android phone that they said actually got it even half right yet..

  • Glenn Gore

    I am quite sure that Dish will throw a HUGE tantrum about this, but after being allowed by the FCC to squat on a trove of spectrum for 10+ years and not spend a cent on building any of it, I would hope the FCC tells them to go fly a kite……..or actually BUILD a network! Of course, I am not holding my breath on any of this. And I realize that they have built a few sites now, but from what I have seen, those are only token sites or protection sites instead of a contiguous true nationwide network of any sort.

    • Shaun Michalak

      Funny.. You think Dish will throw a tantrum.. I do not think so.. I think they already did.. Don’t you remember the big “Grinch” article.. lol

      • Glenn Gore

        Yep, that was just a minor tantrum, the big drop-on-the-floor-and-bawl show will come when T-Mobile actually shuts down CDMA. That one will be fun to watch LOL

  • KMB877

    This will be a big problem for international tourists. At least in Europe, no cellphones with 4G/LTE bands like 12, 66, 71 are sold!

    • StevenM

      Partially true at best. Every iPhone since 6s and Samsung Galaxy since S7 has B12 LTE support, for which T-Mobile has widely deployed and will provide a satisfactory coverage experience. They also have B4 LTE support, for which B66 is an expansion of and rarely exists as a standalone.

    • DaHawk

      Are you sure? I thought phones like the iPhone and Samsung phones came pretty much exactly the same, across the whole world. With all the same exact connections so they can be used worldwide?

      • marque2

        IPhone has two versions just for the US, basically one for Verizon Sprint and one for AT&T T-Mobile.

        You can often use a US phone overseas, you just won’t be able to use all the local bands so the connectivity will be more spotty.

        • slybacon

          That was true during the CDMA/GSM only days. But with 4G LTE and 5G, that’s not true anymore. Apple only carries one model for each iPhone size now in the US. For example, iPhone Model 2342 (iPhone 12 Pro Max) works on all US carriers.

        • Brad C

          Well from the iPhone 7-X… CDMA compatible variants had a Qualcomm radio due to CDMA being needed, but from the Xs and onward it’s been the same radio for all phones.

    • Shaun Michalak

      Most US cell phones from cell companies (not unlocked phones) do not support most use in other countries across the ocean on their cell phones.. So I do not see why this is a problem.. The main places that they will work for are in the americas only.. So I do not see why it would be any different there.. Fact is, it is usually cheaper to buy a burn phone while there (from what I have read) then try to use your own phone much, due to roaming costs.. So why wouldn’t they do the same coming here??

      • KMB877

        Simple. Because you may want to see whom is calling you on your number or use WhatsApp. Or, you may want to swap a new SIM card in your regular phone and have access to your address book, and all your apps.

        • Shaun Michalak

          True, but with roaming fees.. I am just saying that it is not going to be cheap to use a US plan in Spain or England, so most people use burn phones because of roaming fees.. But when it comes to it, there is still the option of using WiFi to connect without the fees using internet services.

        • Brad C

          I travel on a regular basis, and just pay T-Mobile $50/mo for Unlimited Talk/Text/15GB of data overseas, and unlimited mobile hotspot on this side of the pond.. it’s actually fairly cheap to use your US number overseas if you do not have AT&T or Verizon

        • Shaun Michalak

          I did not know that.. The last time I checked into it, the costs were many times more to use your home cell over seas because of roaming costs and stuff..

        • marque2

          WhatsApp uses your phone number? Tmobile allows free texting from most of the world.

      • marque2

        Note I completely rewrote this post: Tmobile calls from Canada, Mexico are text free. It looks like most other countries are 25¢ a minute with Magenta, One plan, Essentials, or simple choice in 205 countries. 2g data and texting are free. I think calling to much of Europe is free, though I am not sure. You can also get a supplemental plan. I found a link from T-Mobile describing this. I will post it separately. Hopefully Christine approves it.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I doubt she will.. She is not good at posting links, even when they are an excellent resource for actual T-Mobile info.. Heck, she refused to link to the actual T-Mobile site when I tried posting a link..

        • marque2

          Yeah, I understand not allowing posts from competitor sites like Fierce Wireless or Android Authority – where they are direct competitors to this site. But a link the patron site T-mobile should be allowed. There is no competitive element and it actually would help this site.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Not too long ago, they were talking about prices or something, and I mentioned to someone that if they are not using much data, only talk and text, to maybe try T-Mobiles connect plans.. They could save them money.. I tried to link directly to the page to make it easier for them.. denied.. But I have had others that were actual news info that I tried too, and those were denied too.. all straight to T-mobiles site..

        • marque2

          I would email Christine about the news stories, she tends to post them.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I am done with any kind of links.. I just go around them in one way or another.. and post that way so I do not have to be bothered.. It is not worth the hassle.. and even if I did email them to her, she would probably put it up as a new post, and would not even go along with my comments anyways, so that would make it half pointless.

        • marque2

          It would be nice if she gave at least hat tip to you.

        • Jared Hylton

          Just get a HMD Global SIM for when you’re overseas, especially in London, or if you’ve got the option use an eSIM service and provision via WiFi before you land in the country of destination. I want Samsung to step up the eSIM game, stat. All manufacturers need to. It can hold up to 15 fucking SIM profiles, and makes it impossible for thieves to pull them out, making theft even less of a potential issue. I’d think?

      • Brad C

        *most android phones

        There. Corrected. As I stated in my reply above this is a failure on Google for not pushing actual standards with android.

        Google could require all software builds to have the carrier packs like iOS or the pixel line but that’s on them for not doing it, and anyone traveling internationally should have at least a midrange phone that can work on other networks at this point if it has global bands – otherwise that’s also on the consumer/carrier for selling such a combo to a customer, and the customer for taking such a cheap phone and trying to take intentional trips.

    • Brad C

      Why? Sprint did not use a network that was a global standard? CDMA is not included on phones in europe in 99.9% of cases.

      In fact, T-Mobile and AT&T for the longest time were the only networks any international traveler could roam onto, and most, if not all international phones will support at least Band 2,4,5 and that’s more than enough for a roamer coming to the US.

      • KMB877

        Brad C,
        After 2005, Sprint users with newer phones (with SIM card inside) could roam on GSM 2G 850/ 900/ 1800/ 1900 MHz and on 3G-WCDMA 2100 MHz almost all over the word.
        In Europe, one can’t buy non iPhone & Galaxy with bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 66 or 71 support. And, vice-versa, can’t buy regular phones from T-mobile with bands 1, 3, 8 & 20 enabled. Not to mention that several countries doesn’t use yet VoIP.
        And, to make things worst, in Europe the most popular 5G band is 78!
        So, if you are not a iPhone or Galaxy user, forget about using your cellphone overseas. Except WhatsApp/ Signal on Wi-Fi, or WiFi calling if you’ll find a router with the proper ports open.

        • Brad C

          But you do know this announcement doesn’t stop HSPA roaming right? Just using CDMA in the states, which is irrelevant to international roaming for both sprint customers going overseas, and overseas customers traveling to the states.

          HSPA is still up and going in some places even domestically on T-Mobile, and T-Mobile’s entire original 2G GSM footprint is still running for the foreseeable future.

          AT&T is even killing HSPA in 2022, with no GSM/EDGE to back it up. The world is moving in from 2G/3G tech, and anyone traveling to the US will just have to get a phone that’s modern enough to comply with VoLTE (any iPhone after the 6, or Galaxy S6 onward)

          Android in general not using carrier packs like the iPhone is just another failure on Google with android. The phones can do it, the software or cheap chipset is generally what is stopping VoLTE support whilst roaming. That’s on Google to push for actual standards with android.

    • mingkee

      I am not sure what you’re talking about
      T-Mobile runs LTE on B2, B4, B12, B66, B71
      B2 and B4 are everywhere and most of international phones have them
      The remaining condition is VoLTE support
      On the other hand, CDMA is barely seen in other countries except Canada

      • Jared Hylton

        Same with iDEN. Mike was the only other carrier I knew of, outside of SouthernLinc and Nextel/Sprint Nextel to use the service in “North” America. I just learned, most people learn that North America is like, this whole other map than what Canadians/Americans use or look at. It’s so weird….I never knew.

  • marque2

    I am surprised people would have a 12+ month contract remaining on a largely CDMA phone. Thought Sprint was phasing out CDMA significantly already.

    • Shaun Michalak

      I think it will be for one of two reasons.. First, maybe so they can get a T-Mobile branded phone.. Option two would be that maybe they are just trying to get them to upgrade to a 5G phone.. I think the latter is more it due to the fact that they have been pushing 5G phones on to people, even ones that are paid off.. Remember the flip phone upgrade to 5G not too long ago?? Perfect example.. But if you noticed, it is “Sprint” customers, not prepaid or boost or ….. that they are talking about..

  • Jody

    If this is talking about the sprint cdma which is 3g, what about Sprint lte service? I thought all spring service was shutting down?

    • Shaun Michalak

      All sprint towers are going to be upgraded to T-mobile towers.. At least, the ones that they are keeping.. Something like 25,000 of the Sprint towers T-mobile is selling to Dish.. But the rest they are keeping. Pretty much all of Sprints towers have LTE on them, but not all have VoLTE capabilities.. But even still, LTE will be left up.. Only 3G will be taken town..