April 1 was a momentous day for the entire US wireless industry, but August 2 will also go down in the history of the nation’s third-largest mobile network operator as a crucial stage in the transition to a “supercharged Un-carrier” fully equipped to challenge the Verizon/AT&T duopoly.
While T-Mobile and Sprint technically closed their long-in-the-works merger four months back
, the two brands were left largely untouched until yesterday. As highlighted by T-Mo EVP of Consumer Markets Jon Freier on Twitter
, the “most monumental day in T-Mobile’s history has arrived”, with Sprint’s “iconic yellow lights turned off one last time” and “one powerful, united brand” rising to serve customers in “more stores than ever.”
Hyperbolic marketing claims aside, what this essentially means is that Sprint stores are no longer Sprint stores, gaining a fresh coat of magenta paint to replace the aforementioned “iconic” yellow hue and revising their signage to better reflect the carrier’s new brand identity. Of course, much like everything else connected to the 2018-initiated, 2020-completed merger, this large-scale rebranding effort is far more complex than it might seem at first glance. Here’s why.
The Sprint name is not actually dead… yet
As such, “the majority” of Sprint stores are adorned with “Sprint now part of T-Mobile” banners starting today, serving both T-Mobile and Sprint customers. The latter group can expect a “slow transition” to T-Mo, with the two brands represented as a “combined company in their direct communications and on the website when doing Sprint account maintenance.”
In other words, while you absolutely shouldn’t expect to see Sprint’s name advertised or featured anywhere by itself anymore, this is definitely not going away entirely just yet. Speaking of Sprint’s website
, you should know that redirects to t-mobile.com
now, where you can choose to “look around” or “continue to Sprint.”
As predicted just last week
, the Sprint name lives on at Best Buy
as well, where smartphone buyers can finally activate their new devices on T-Mobile’s network by… activating them on Sprint. Both new and existing Sprint customers can continue doing business with the retailer, which is also acknowledging the combined company resulting from the T-Mobile/Sprint merger rather than a single brand identity.
Not everything needs to change… for now
While Sprint customers can walk into “most” T-Mobile branded stores from today to make changes to their accounts, you don’t have to get a new plan, pay more for your existing services, or do anything in particular to switch to Magenta.
In terms of plans, you’re looking at spending as little as $25 a line for four lines of unlimited everything, including nationwide 5G data. Speaking of 5G, it’s worth remembering that Sprint’s high-speed network has been terminated
as T-Mobile continues to work on combining that valuable mid-band spectrum with its wealth of low-band technology, thus striking a great balance between speed and coverage that’s likely to become truly unrivaled when Magenta manages to add mmWave treats to this perfect “layer cake” in more places
Then again, Sprint’s 4G LTE network is alive and kicking, and will remain that way until T-Mobile
achieves its ultimate goal of creating a single “supercharged network.” For the time being, the name of the game is flexibility, and whether you want your transition from Sprint to T-Mobile customer to be slow or fast, the “Un-carrier” will hook you up and do whatever it takes to keep you satisfied.
Of course, you’re also free to jump ship to Verizon or AT&T, but it’s going to be hard to beat those smartphone deals, special rate plans, and yes, even those 5G speeds soon enough