T-Mobile has announced that it has shut down the 4G cellular network from its offspring subsidiary network Sprint. The curtain has already fallen on Sprint’s 3G CDMA which now leaves the company without telecom services. The parent company now wants to solely focus on its nationwide 5G broadband.
Justin Paulsen, the spokesperson of T-Mobile revealed earlier that the 4G LTE shutdowns have already begun.
T-Mobile acquired Sprint in 2020 and also took ownership of the spectrum, towers, customers, and other infrastructures. The merger helped T-Mobile reach its customer base from 66.7 to 109 million people.
The company has also recycled the infrastructure for its 5G network. Then, the company started with the inevitable older network shut-down plans.
But initially, T-Mobile faced many hurdles over the so-called anti-competitive behavior. Finally, after two years of the plan, Sprint finally saw its 4G (LTE) network off the radar.
T-Mobile is one of the largest telecom operators in the US which is in fierce competition with Verizon, and AT&T. As of late, the focus in the country has accelerated on 5G development each company wants to take the lead in the next-gen wireless communications race. This has required companies to forsake old services to free up more resources (hardware, spectrum, expenditures, etc.)
Since the shutdowns have already begun, subscribers of Sprint’s LTE could face problems already. This would call for the subscribers to start switching to 5G compatible phones.
Spokesperson Paulsen states that “Customers who needed to take action as a result of these retirement efforts were notified well ahead of time and received an offer for a free 5G replacement device.”
But although 3G and 4G have seen the lights off, the legacy 2G network is still in operation to some limits. However, its fate is sealed. The company hasn’t announced the date for its closure though.
With newer technologies arriving, older innovations will gradually be furloughed. 5G expansion is the norm in the US after the recent mid-band spectrum acquisition. This has prompted US operators to enhance their 5G expansion and pull the curtain on older generation cellular standards such as 2G and 3G.
But the US is not alone. This is going to be a universal practice. As more resources and investments go for newer and advanced mobile technologies, companies must switch off earlier ones. 5G is on the rise across the world states and many have announced plans to shut down 2G and 3G networks. India which is going to the 5G spectrum auction this July will also reconsider legacy networks’ future once the 5G takes off commercially.
2G and 3G are both decades-old cellular standards. While 2G and 3G both support native voice, their broadband capacity does not match today’s needs. 4G though still has more use cases as it complements video conferencing, gaming, and large field downloads. But once 5G becomes available, even the LTE will struggle to stay relevant. The market is moving towards the 5G ecosystem and it’s only a matter of time before we will see the gradual end of older mobile communication standards.
In Nepal, 5G is likely to roll out for preliminary trials this year. It is said to bring around 1 Gbps speeds for general users which is multifold times higher than 4G and 3G networks. Are you eager for the fifth-generation mobile network treat on your mobile phone?