Late last week T-Mobile successfully acquired Sprint, became a company, and effectively reduced the total number of major US cell carriers from four to three. At least for the moment.
If you are currently a Sprint or T-Mobile customer, you may be wondering how this merger will affect you. We turned to the "new T-Mobile" to get answers straight from the mouth of the magenta horse.
T-Mobile claims the takeover will promote improved coverage and data speed for Americans, but it is important to remember that critics say there is none. A clear way to hold the carrier accountable for its promises and that higher prices can be inevitable.
So am I on Sprint or T-Mobile?
At the moment both brands still exist. If you are a Sprint subscriber, continue to use the Sprint network. If you are in T-Mobile, use the T-Mobile network. Sprint subscribers only know that your mobile operator is now owned by T-Mobile. At some point the Sprint brand will disappear and T-Mobile will be the only name you'll see with a set of data plans to choose from.
Do I have to pay more?
Part of the agreement for The acquisition of T-Mobile provides that prices will not be increased for three years, so you should not see price increases until 2023. We have to wait and see what happens afterwards. [1
Sprint uses a CDMA network, while T-Mobile uses GSM. In the past, this meant that Sprint phones on other mobile operators like AT&T and T-Mobile (with several exceptions) didn't work well. This still applies for the time being: Buying a Sprint phone does not mean that it can work in the T-Mobile network just because it is the new owner.
T-Mobile states that it is working on a uniform device portfolio in the future. Our best Android phones and best cheap phones each list the wireless networks that our recommended phones are compatible with. The latest iPhones can also be purchased for use on any network.
What about 5G?
Sprint had a lot of valuable midband wireless spectrum that enables 5G services that are faster than existing 4G LTE speeds and can travel a good distance. (It can also go through walls, which is a problem for some 5Gs.) T-Mobile now has this spectrum and has already started deploying in Philadelphia, so T-Mobile customers using a 5G phone are gradually increasing Determine data speeds. This will take years, so don't expect dramatically faster speeds soon. To benefit from this, you also need to sign up for a new phone that supports 5G.
Much of the terms of the acquisition relate to 5G. To approve the merger, T-Mobile had to agree to expand rural coverage with a 5G network that would cover 97 percent of the U.S. population in three years and 99 percent in six years.
What about Sprint retail stores?
Nothing will happen to the more than 4,000 Sprint stores in the United States. T-Mobile is preparing its businesses to serve the upcoming Sprint and T-Mobile customers. Existing subscribers to one of these carriers will soon have a "legacy" data plan until the newly merged T-Mobile introduces new plans.
In the future, at least "hundreds" of Sprint retail stores will be transferred to Dish Network.
Wait, why is Dish Network involved?
The Department of Justice approved the takeover of T-Mobile as Dish negotiated that it could become a viable fourth mobile operator to maintain healthy competition. That means it will eventually own Sprint's prepaid business, Boost Mobile, and take over many of Sprint's retail stores. It will also be able to rely on the T-Mobile network for seven years if it builds up its own service.
I'm on Boost Mobile. What does that mean for me?
Boost Mobile will be owned by Dish Network. According to the Orange County Business Journal, Dish's ownership can be finalized very soon.