California utility regulators rule T-Mobile misled them during testimony over Sprint merger

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,459   +1,034
Staff member
In brief: On Friday, the California utility regulators ruled that T-Mobile misled then during testimony regarding the Sprint merger. The questionable claims were regarding T-Mobile's plans to dismantle Sprint's legacy CDMA network. The ruling will allow T-Mobile to explain its statements before issuing any penalties against the company.

Update (08/17/21): Shortly after publication, T-Mobile reached out to us to comment on the Commission's ruling. A spokesperson said that the company categorically disagrees with the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in this case, issuing the following statement:

T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert also provided a lengthy discussion on the subject on the company's blog.

T-Mobile said it would maintain the code division multiple access (CDMA) network while it migrated Boost Mobile customers to Dish Network's LTE or 5G services. The company claimed the migration would not affect its 5G build-out. It was all supposed to happen over the course of three years. However, T-Mobile then decided it would decommission the network on June 20, 2022, and Dish Network appealed to the Public Utilities Commission of California (CPUC) over the planned premature shutdown.

The Commission reviewed the case and sided with Dish saying that T-Mobile misled regulators through "false, misleading, or omitted statements." It pointed directly to CTO Neville Ray's testimony, who failed to state that the PCS spectrum that the CDMA runs on would be needed to build out the company's 5G network. Dish then took it to the CPUC.

"Several times in his testimony Mr. Ray listed the types of spectrum that would be needed for 5G service, but PCS spectrum – and specifically the PCS spectrum acquired through the merger with Sprint – was not on these lists. Moreover, in response to questions regarding the potential of the DISH Divestiture to affect the 5G build-out, T-Mobile never indicated that using PCS spectrum for CDMA service could impact T-Mobile's 5G build-out. Nor did T-Mobile ever reveal that PCS spectrum was used to provide CDMA service to Boost customers."

For regulators to approve the Sprint merger, T-Mobile had to agree to divest Boost Mobile by selling it to Dish. Dish Network was supposed to have three years running on the CDMA network while it worked on its infrastructure. Regulators saw this as a fair way to fill the void left by Sprint as one of the four major carriers.

T-Mobile seems to want to either renege on that deal or lied by omission when initially questioned by regulators. The company now has a chance to explain why it told the Commission one thing then did another. A virtual hearing is slated for September 20. T-Mobile faces sanctions and fines of up to $100,000 for every offense.

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mctommy

Posts: 415   +142
Doesn't surprise me at all. The whole sprint merger was a spectrum grab and nothing more. T-Mobile wasn't merging with Sprint because of Sprint customers or it's $40B worth of debt, it was attempting to grab desperately needed spectrum. That kind of spectrum would have been much more expensive on auction.

The biggest lie from the merger was the creation of jobs as a result of the merger, the only reason they "achieved" that is by insourcing Sprint call center. I bet you that in the 2-3 years timeframe, 30-40% of the smaller less profitable stores will be closed because of overlapping footprint thus resulting in less employees than pre-merger.
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,459   +1,034
Staff member

mctommy

Posts: 415   +142
"We absolutely disagree with the ALJ action, which we believe is meritless and without basis in fact. We look forward to presenting evidence and setting the record straight through the upcoming process. For months, T-Mobile has been working aggressively to ensure no customer is left behind as we transition to technology that will better serve them into the future. We remain committed to that goal."

If the facts are correct in this article, then that's beside the issue T-Mobile rep. T-Mobile shut it down prematurely when in fact it was supposed to keep the CDMA network for 3 years to enable transition of Boost customer to Dish.
 

Markoni35

Posts: 1,318   +535
And again we have an attack on a German corporation. Similar to say...... Volkswagen. They do same things as everyone else, usually even less problems than anyone else, but somehow only they get penalized. It's a recurring theme. Somehow Germans and Japanese corporations are always blacklisted and attacked by lawyers, hackers, whatnot. German and Japanese. Does that ring the bell?