T-Mobile has made another major move related to its Sprint merger.
T-Mobile has officially shut down Sprint's 5G network. T-Mo confirmed to Fierce Wireless that it has deactivated Sprint's 2.5GHz mid-band 5G coverage as part of its effort to repurpose that spectrum for use on its own 5G network.
"We are working to quickly re-deploy, optimize and test the 2.5phGHz spectrum before lighting it up on the T-Mobile network," said a T-Mobile spokesperson. "In the meantime, legacy Sprint customers with compatible devices can enjoy T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network."
This means that many customers with Sprint 5G devices no longer have 5G coverage, though they do still have access to Sprint's 4G LTE network. That includes owners of the Galaxy S10 5G, LG V50 ThinQ, and OnePlus 7 Pro 5G. Sprint customers who have a Galaxy S20 series device do have access to T-Mobile's 5G network.
For those Sprint customers with a 5G device other than a Galaxy S20, T-Mobile is offering special deals to help them move to an S20. Customers who own, lease, or finance an S10 5G, LG V50, or OnePlus 7 Pro 5G an pay less than $10 per month can get a Galaxy S20 for $0 after a $41.67 monthly bill credit and 18-month lease. Customers with those devices that are paying more than $10 per month can get an S20 for $10 per month after a $31.67 monthly credit and 18-month lease.
T-Mobile currently offers 2.5GHz 5G in 5 cities: Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles. There are still a handful of cities that used to have Sprint 5G and are without T-Mobile's 2.5GHz 5G, such as Atlanta, Phoenix, and Sprint's hometown of Kansas City.
One of the main reasons that T-Mobile wanted to merge with Sprint was to get access to its 2.5GHz spectrum to improve its own 5G network, so the news that T-Mo has completely shut down Sprint's 5G network doesn't come as a huge surprise. It's still a pretty big deal for the Sprint 5G network to be deactivated, though, and some owners of those older Sprint 5G devices may be disappointed to learn that one of the major features of their phone no longer work.
Did you ever use Sprint's 5G network?