Sprint plans to shut down parts of US Cellular network on October 31
Sprint announced late last week that it is on target to shut down portions of the former US Cellular network in the St. Louis metropolitan area, including parts of Illinois, by October 31. This is a direct result of a deal US Cellular made with Sprint back in May, in which the regional carrier agreed to sell its spectrum and customers in the midwest to the nation’s third largest carrier.
US Cellular customers in the area who have not taken any action will be affected by this network shutdown. To ensure uninterrupted service, Sprint says that all affected customers must port their numbers to Sprint or another carrier. Additionally, even though Sprint and US Cellular both operate CDMA networks, and even though phones for both carriers should technically work on either carrier, Sprint is demanding that US Cellular customers who wish to switch to Sprint purchase new equipment.
Granted, Sprint is waiving the normal $36 activation fee for US Cellular customers who switch, and is providing a $50 credit to boot. But this doesn’t make up for the fact that customers will still be signing a new two-year agreement – and the fact that customers shouldn’t technically be forced to buy new phones, because their existing phones would work just fine on the Sprint network!
Oh, well – c’est la vie.[Sprint]