Sprint will start dying this summer

This is a headline I’ve been waiting to write since 2018. This summer, Sprint as we know it will begin dying off. The carrier which used to be the fourth largest in the U.S. has been swallowed by T-Mobile, and in exchange, the Uncarrier will begin phasing out Sprint’s brand name as early as this summer.

It’ll be a gradual roll-out to kick things off. Sprint stores and bills, for example, will get T-Mobile names and logos on them. T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said customers can keep their current Sprint plans without being forced to switch to T-Mobile, but who knows for how long.

As it turns out, this transition was originally planned to kick off earlier. But Sievert said COVID-19 got in the way and they had to delay some of these transitional steps to mid-summer rather than early summer.

With COVID-19, we moved it out into the mid-summer instead of the early summer, and this is when we will essentially be advertising one flagship postpaid T-Mobile brand as well as operating a unified fleet of retail. The retail piece is why we slowed down just a little bit.

T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert during an investor event. Source: Fierce Wireless

The unification of T-Mobile and Sprint is expected to take around three years to complete. If you’re concerned your Sprint phone won’t work when you’re forced to switch to T-Mobile, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about since roaming on the Uncarrier’s network works. However, 5G will be another conversation since nearly ever Sprint-branded 5G phone can’t hop on T-Mobile’s 5G coverage.

This is gonna be a fun transition.