Recent reports indicate that Sprint has confirmed it will shut down its WiMax network around the first week of November next year. According to Wireless Week, a Sprint Spokesperson gave the following comment: “Sprint will cease operating the Sprint 4G WiMAX network on or about November 6, 2015.”
The shutdown originally surfaced when Android Central published one of Sprint’s internal emails. The memo states that starting on Oct. 6, letters will be sent to corporate-liable customers and that individual-liable and prepaid customers will be notified 180 days before the scheduled shutdown.
The letters explain Sprint’s intention for discontinuing WiMax services after Nov. 5, 2015, as well as any service extensions past Nov. 6, 2015. Dual-band WiMax/3G devices will continue to work on Sprint’s 3G network after the shutdown, but the company plans to offer some low- and no-cost LTE and Sprint Spark devices to customers affected by the shutdown.
According to Sprint, most WiMAX subscribers are upgrade eligible due to the age of their device. The carrier states that offers are being planned for targeted postpaid WiMAX subscribers, prior to the WiMAX network shutdown. It is not yet clear how the WiMax shutdown will affect MVNOs, such as FreedomPop that sell WiMax-compatible devices. Sprint has promised to try its best to manage the shutdown effectively for all respective parties involved.
Last year, Sprint finalized its acquisition of Clearwire and took possession of the company’s vast 2.5 GHz spectrum holdings. Sprint has focused its efforts primarily into integrating 2.5 GHz into its tri-band LTE offering, called Sprint Spark.