The Sprint-T-Mobile merger deal was announced in 2018, and it was completed last month after months of delays due to anti-competitive rules and regulations. Now that the merger is finally complete, it is being reported that the Sprint branding will start to disappear in the US.
As the next step of the merger, the two telecom carriers have planned to merge their customer base. Even Sprint’s offices, retail stores, and bills will now bear the T-Mobile branding. This means that the end of Sprint branding is near, and we will no longer see the Sprint name a few months from now.
T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert has promised that existing Sprint customers will be able to continue with their existing plans for now, and they won’t be forced to switch over to one of T-Mobile’s mobile plans. However, new Sprint customers will be directed to choose T-Mobile plans during the signup.
The whole branding change won’t happen all at once, though, and there’s no specific date for its completion. It’s just that we will start to see the Sprint brand disappear later this summer. Mike Sievert mentioned it during the company’s investor event earlier this week that the branding change was delayed from early summer to mid-summer due to the COVID-19 situation.
Existing Sprint customers are already able to switch to T-Mobile’s networks across the US when there’s no access to Sprint’s signals. However, the complete unification of customers will only happen after three years from now. T-Mobile and Sprint want to leapfrog AT&T and Verizon to become the largest carrier brand in the US.
There’s a rough patch, though, as Sprint’s 5G customers aren’t able to use T-Mobile’s 5G network due to a difference in 5G technologies used by the two brands. Those who purchased 5G smartphones in the US from Sprint are forced to replace their phones with newer ones that support T-Mobile’s 5G network.
There are bound to be issues when two of the nation’s biggest telecom brands are merging. They both use different communication technologies and billing plans. Customers will likely face issues related to coverage, plans, and upgrade plans. However, things might start to improve starting next year or so.
Hopefully, the situation would be better by the latter half of 2020 when four new 5G iPhones are expected to be launched. Cheaper variants of iPhones, the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Max, are expected to support sub-6GHz 5G, while the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max would reportedly support both mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G networks.