June 11, 2021
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Is your Sprint service down? We hate to be the bearers of bad news but Sprint service It’s only going to get worse as the Sprint network beings to shut down across the U.S.
Sprint’s merger with T-Mobile brought the number of major wireless carriers in the US down from four to three. If you use the Sprint network, that leaves you with a problem to solve.
Why is Sprint service down?
This is a pretty long story. All you really need to know is how you’ll be affected as a Sprint customer so here’s the short version.
In April 2018, Sprint and T-Mobile announced they wanted to merge. The merger didn’t happen right away. There was a lot to do and a lot of hoops to jump through, so it was two years before the merger was made official in April 2020.
In the merger, Sprint was absorbed into T-Mobile. Here’s the important part for Sprint customers: not only did T-Mobile get rid of Sprint’s name, they also plan to shut the Sprint network down.
What does this mean for Sprint’s customers?
T-Mobile is planning to shut the Sprint network down in stages. Safe to assume that Sprint coverage is going to degrade over time for remaining customers before it cuts out completely. This could translate to dropped and spotty calls, slow data and failed text messages.
January 2022 has been cited as the date for the full Sprint CDMA network shutdown, at which point any phone that uses that network exclusively would become about as useful as a brick.
Long story short, if you’re on the Sprint network, it’s time to start thinking about your next move.
T-Mobile will, of course, encourage you to switch to them. That doesn’t mean you have to. Smaller carriers like Ting Mobile offer the same coverage on the same (and other) networks with a better customer experience at a fraction of the price.
Do I need a new phone to switch providers?
Maybe but not necessarily.
Some phones will be able to make the move to a new carrier (whether that’s T-Mobile or a carrier like Ting Mobile) and some won’t.
Sprint offered 3G service on its CDMA network. What CDMA stands for (code division multiple access) isn’t important. Just know that it’s an older network technology. A CDMA-only phone can’t be activated on any other network. However, if your phone has a radio that will work on another network, there’s no need to buy a new one.
Use the Ting Mobile device checker to see what networks your phone supports. There’s no obligation to switch but if your phone is compatible with a network other than CDMA and if you choose to, you can bring your phone to Ting Mobile right away.
If your phone only works on a CDMA network, you’ll need to get a new one no matter which carrier you decide to move to.
I’m not with Sprint but I think I’m on the Sprint network
You may be on one of Sprint’s MVNOs, which is basically a smaller cell phone company that piggy-backs on the bigger guys’ networks. If so, you’ll be impacted by the network shutdown too.
You’ll experience the same issues with service quality and when the Sprint network is no more, you’ll be in the same boat as all Sprint customers. Check your phone and if it’s not compatible with another network, you will need to get a new phone.
You probably weren’t expecting the Sprint service to go down, and it may seem like a bit of a hassle to switch networks. This is, however, a great opportunity for a fresh start.
Take your time and shop around. Think about what you need out of a cell phone plan and keep your eye out for a good deal. While T-Mobile will no doubt be making overtures, you have many great options.
Great options like Ting Mobile.