AT&T and T-Mobile both claimed they were intent on preserving Cricket and MetroPCS’s services when they made their respective acquisitions. But it looks like T-Mobile was the only one serious about it.
Sprint now owns U.S. Cellular’s spectrum in St. Louis and Chicago and it’s anxious to use it in its networks. It’s giving hundreds of thousands U.S. Cellular customers two to five months to switch.
Sprint pulled the plug on its old Nextel iDEN network in Q2 triggering a huge exodus of customers. With new spectrum from Clearwire and new capital from SoftBank, though, the rest of the year looks brighter.
The seconds are ticking away for the remaining Boost and Nextel customers on Sprint’s iDEN network. This is no lackadaisical retirement. By the end of Sunday, the iDEN system will be one very dead network.
On June 30, the Nextel iDEN service goes offline, sticking Sprint with a heck of a lot of network scrap. Sprint, however, isn’t just throwing it all in a dumpster behind Walmart. It will recycle whatever it can’t use.
Sprint’s buyout of U.S. Cellular in Chicago and St. Louis closed Friday, and it won’t keep its networks running for long. Customers can either trade in their U.S. Cellular devices with Sprint or look for a new carrier.
Sprint lost another 771,000 Nextel iDEN subscribers as customers, offsetting all of the gains Sprint made in its CDMA business. It sold 5 million smartphones, and activated 1.5 million iPhones.