It's now been a month and a half since T-Mobile and Sprint completed their merger, but they continue to be operated as separate brands. Now we know when the Sprint brand will go away and the combined carrier will be known simply as T-Mobile.
New T-Mo CEO Mike Sievert revealed during an investor conference this week that he's targeting mid-summer as the time when the T-Mobile and Sprint brands will be unified (via TmoNews). This was originally planned for early summer but was pushed to mid-summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is when we will essentially be advertising one flagship postpaid T-Mobile brand as well as operating a unified fleet of retail, and the retail piece is why we slowed down just a little bit,” Sievert said.
T-Mobile actually began combining the networks for T-Mo and Sprint subscribers last month. At that time, T-Mo flipped the switch on 2.5GHz 5G coverage in Philadelphia using spectrum that it had acquired from Sprint while also enabling Sprint customers with a Galaxy S20 to jump onto T-Mobile's low-band 600MHz 5G. Additionally, Sprint customers with compatible LTE phones gained the ability to roam on T-Mobile's LTE network, giving them access to more than double the number of LTE cell sites than Sprint's network alone.
When it comes to actually integrating the two separate networks, T-Mobile has said that it expects the process to take about 3 years.
What the mid-summer unification will mean is that the Sprint brand will go away and existing Sprint customers will begin visiting T-Mobile stores, getting T-Mobile bills, and contacting T-Mobile support. For now, Sprint customers are still going to Sprint stores and contacting the same support that they've been using since before the merger.
The fact that T-Mobile plans to unify the brands and eliminate the Sprint brand isn't a surprise, but it's still notable because Sprint has been a major part of the US wireless industry for so long. Did you ever use Sprint?