T-Mobile US has indicated that it is on course to deactivate the legacy wireless networks inherited from Sprint by 2022. Speaking at a UBS investor event, CEO Mike Sievert commented: ‘We’ve already done some on an isolated basis, but this is mostly a 2021 and 2022 endeavour … The actual decommissioning happens very late in the process.’
He went on to liken the shutdown process to the one performed by T-Mobile personnel in 2014-2015, following the 2013 takeover of MetroPCS. Sievert explained: ‘This part is exactly like what we did with Metro … where we go [and] build that capacity on the destination network [and] start dynamically moving the traffic over. And then when, in each area, you’ve got enough of the traffic moved, and you believe you can carry it all, you go ahead and shut down the prior Sprint legacy network.’
Interestingly, Sprint itself had previously suggested that its 3G shutdown was expected to take place by 31 December 2022. The cellco ceased activating new 3G devices on 30 April 2019.