No big surprise: T-Mobile is killing Sprint 5G

Friends, I stopped reporting on the proposed merger between Sprint and T-Mobile about two years ago. I’d been picking on the two companies for years. Sprint’s foibles as a cell company had come to my attention in the early ’10s as they absorbed company after company. This also meant they absorbed obsolete tech after obsolete tech, from the Nextel “chirp” to the WiMax 4G scheme. In every case, Sprint’s customers paid the price; they had to change phones over and over as old tech was discarded.

What comes around goes around

I wasn’t a proponent of the Sprint/T-Mobile merger for the same reason. Sprint still hadn’t managed to kill off all of its older tech, and I presumed that once the merger was done, T-Mobile would kill off all of Sprint’s tech.

Guess what, I was right.

This article at Android Police confirms that now that the deal is done, T-Mobile will be killing Sprint’s 5G. Sprint’s technology wasn’t actually that bad, but it wasn’t compatible with T-Mobile. So, if you are one of the few who actually bought Sprint’s 5G hardware, be prepared to donate it to a museum along with your Nextel phone, Sprint 4G phone, Clearwire hotspot, and all the other stuff Sprint made you buy over the years because they dumped older technology.

How long can this last?

There’s the real question. I’m assuming this isn’t going to be the last time that T-Mobile makes older Sprint technology obsolete. Sprint’s phones may look like other phones, but the chips inside are different. Some of them may not be able to transition to T-Mobile’s network, which is more like AT&T’s. Within 3-5 years, all former Sprint customers will have to transition to T-Mobile hardware. Some of this will happen organically, as people upgrade phones, but at some point T-Mobile will want to turn off older Sprint towers and that’s going to mean a big writedown.

Every time Sprint made an older technology obsolete, they lost customers. After all, telling your customer base that their phone isn’t going to work is practically inviting them to switch to another carrier, right? Imagine if it were to happen to you.

Time to hitch your cart to a winner

Sprint customers, I know it’s been a hard road. I know that you’ve stuck with Team Yellow for a long time and you haven’t always been rewarded for it. In the coming months, you’ll have to make a new decision. You can allow yourself to transition to Team Magenta, with no guarantee you’ll be valued. Or, you can make the move to AT&T. AT&T’s technology has evolved organically. Yes, they do sometimes walk away from older technology. But it’s done in a very organic way. AT&T never took on weird tech like Clearwire, and so it’s not constantly dumping weird technologies just to stay relevant.

When you’re ready to join AT&T, call the experts at Signal Connect. As an AT&T Preferred Dealer, they can get you set up safely from the comfort of your own home and send your new phone to you ready to go. Call us now at 866-726-4182 and get connected to a company that won’t leave you high and dry!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.