T-Mobile has announced that it will extend the deadline for disconnecting the CDMA network by three months to March 31, 2022.
That’s not much more time than Dish Network has already given to prepare for Boost Mobile customers’ transition from CDMA, but it’s better than January 1, 2022, the date it was targeting earlier.
“This decision will have no material financial impact on our business and the rapid pace of our 5G roll-out will continue,” T-Mobile said in a statement posted on its website on Friday. “Our reason for the extension is simple: We want to give those partners who haven’t done the right thing for their customers every opportunity to get in now and do so.”
T-Mobile has already blown Dish up, saying it would “drag its feet” when it came to upgrading customers to the 4G / 5G world. We have made more time available and these partners can follow suit with the necessary effort to ensure that no one is left on the wrong side of the digital divide. “
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Dish chairman Charlie Ergen complained earlier this year that Mike Sievert, President and CEO of T-Mobile, looked like a magenta “Grinch,” and Dish accused the “un-carrier” of anticompetitive behavior.
It’s all a bit ironic as Dish played a pivotal role in T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint and presented a candidate to the U.S. government who could replace Sprint as the fourth facility-based wireless operator. With Sprint, T-Mobile became the second largest wireless operator in the United States by subscribers and won a shipload of 2.5 GHz spectrum that strengthened its position as the leading 5G network operator.
The feud emerged when Dish announced in February that T-Mobile had told them it would shut down the CDMA network next January. Dish felt it would have at least up to three years to migrate Boost Mobile subscribers currently on the CDMA network to new phones that work on T-Mobile’s newer network, or by July 2023 .
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Last October, T-Mobile Dish announced that the shutdown would be carried out about a year and a half earlier than Dish expected. T-Mobile said it was all contractually legal, while Dish said it was the result of T-Mobile’s “greed”.