Now that the merger between Sprint and T-Mobile is official, both companies can begin the real work: merging their networks into one. It’s not going to be an easy feat and will likely take years to complete. CNET is reporting that Sprint’s earliest 5G phones will likely not work on the new T-Mobile network. Once the networks consolidate, CNET is reporting that Sprint will not update the Samsung Galaxy S10, LG V50 ThinQ 5G and OnePlus 7 Pro 5G McLaren so they will no longer work on the re-launched 5G networks.
Some of Sprint’s 5G phones including the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G would be supported on the newly merged 5G network. The phone will be able to access T-Mobile’s high-frequency mmWave 5G network but will not be able to use T-Mobile’s low-band 5G network that just recently launched across the nation in December of 2019. This is also true for any of T-Mobile’s 5G phones that launched last year- they can access the high-frequency mmWave band on T-Mobile’s 5G network, but will not be able to use T-Mobile’s low-band network that is available nationwide.
Other phones, such as T-Mobile’s OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G, will be able to use T-Mobile’s low-band 5G network and Sprint’s mid-band network, but the phones can’t access T-Mobile’s high-band mmWave network. The Galaxy S20 5G will not have mmWave accessibility, and will only work on Sprint’s mid-band and T-Mobile’s low-band networks.
However if you’re looking for the best-of-the-best 5G experience, it’s best to wait for a 2020 phone that can tap into the combined Sprint and T-Mobile networks- like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus 5G or Ultra 5G- both of which whether you buy them from Sprint or T-Mobile should work on the new consolidated 5G network.
If you’re on Sprint’s network and recently purchased a 5G phone, you’re not completely out of luck. Sprint has extended offers to customers who own one of the affected 5G devices to an upgraded 6.2-inch Galaxy S20 at a reduced rate. However, your savings will be dependent on how much you’ve paid off on your current device.
For users who have the Samsung Galaxy S10 (256GB), OnePlus 7 Pro 5G McLaren (256GB) or the LG V50 ThinQ 5G (128GB) and you’re currently paying:
- Less than $10 per month you will get a Samsung Galaxy S20 5G for $0 per month after $41.67 per month credit with a new 18-month lease.
- More than $10 per month you will get a Samsung Galaxy S20 5G for $10 per month after $31.67 per month credit with a new 18-month lease.
If you purchased an HTC 5G Hub through an installment plan you’ll be credited $12.50 per month on every billing cycle thereafter. If you purchased the hub at full-price with no installment plan, you’ll get a one-time credit of $300 on your bill.
As a reminder, the Samsung Galaxy S20 will not work on T-Mobile’s high-band mmWave 5G network but should work on T-Mobile’s low-band and Sprint’s mid-band 5G networks. The Samsung S20 Plus and Ultra are the only two phones that will access the full potential of both networks.
Sources: Tom’s Guide and CNET