Following its acquisition of the carrier, T-Mobile said that it will discontinue service on iWireless’ network starting in October. The carrier is working to migrate its iWireless customers to its own T-Mobile core network.
Importantly, T-Mobile said that the iWireless network will no longer work for existing customers after the end of September.
In a statement to FierceWireless, T-Mobile explained that it is not shutting down the iWireless network: “We’re in the process of migrating and upgrading the existing iWireless network to T-Mobile’s core network so iWireless customers can get the same great experience as T-Mobile customers.”
On a website for affected customers, T-Mobile said that “T-Mobile acquired iWireless and is going to convert the network to T-Mobile. Now you’ll be able to enjoy all the great features and benefits of T-Mobile services on the network you already know and love!”
T-Mobile made it clear, however, that existing iWireless customers would no longer receive service from the network and would have to obtain service from T-Mobile or another carrier. T-Mobile said iWireless customers can keep their existing phones but would need a SIM from T-Mobile.
T-Mobile’s move to spin down the iWireless network stems from the carrier’s move to purchase its remaining interest of the regional carrier serving Iowa, western Illinois and eastern Nebraska. iWireless had been owned by Aureon, an Iowa-based IT firm. With the move, T-Mobile is adding 103 full-service company stores and authorized-dealer outlets serving 75,000 customers who will have access to T-Mobile’s full slate of offerings.
The move also dovetails with T-Mobile’s efforts to expand its geographical coverage area through the deployment of its newly acquired 700 MHz and 600 MHz spectrum, which the carrier calls its “extended range” network.
Indeed, earlier this week T-Mobile announced that it and CBS Television Stations have already wrapped the repack of WLNY-TV’s 600 MHz spectrum on portions of Long Island and the surrounding area that extends into Brooklyn and Queens. T-Mobile said it would work on deploying LTE and 5G network services in the area.
T-Mobile certainly isn’t the first carrier to shut down a wireless network. For example, Sprint finished shutting down its WiMAX network in 2016.
Article updated July 13 to correct information about iWireless phones.