Earlier this year, Sprint announced its decision of shutting down its WiMax network so it could focus on implementing faster 4G LTE network to its consumers. A day before its scheduled shut down, however, a court order made Sprint temporary halt on this decision as it was still under a lawsuit filed by a couple of nonprofits, Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen. On Thursday, Sprint was given 90 days to keep the network up until such time that the conflict may be resolved.
Despite this court ruling however, Sprint has went ahead with its schedule of shutting down the network on Friday. But in order to comply with the court order mandated by a judge in Massachusetts, they have skipped shutting down the network in the affected markets. This gives the two nonprofit groups access to the network during the temporary halt order. Keeping the network active in these markets is not an easy job for Sprint, unfortunately. By doing so, Sprint will be acquiring costs as much as $225 million.
The two nonprofit groups sued Sprint last month after announcing its decision to shut down WiMax network. They sought help from court for an emergency injunction, noting that their contracts have been violated by Sprint as they were pushed to accept LTE service. If they conceded, their customers' speeds would be inhibited once they have surpassed the 6GB data usage cap. To date, the two groups serve a total of 1,820 nonprofits, 429 schools, and 61 libraries. Most of its users come from low-income individuals who rely on the WiMax network to gain access to the internet.
For its part, Sprint has decided to shut down the WiMax network as a way of cost cutting and to improve their network. Although they will keep these networks open for the two nonprofit groups, the company hopes that they will cooperate in resolving the contract dispute during the period. With the court ruling, both parties agree that this period is a time to transition to the 4G LTE network. They all just need to find a way to cooperate and work with each other throughout this period.
As for the other Prepaid MVNO customers under Sprint, they have reported losing service. This shows to prove that Sprint has really shut down the network except for the two groups that have filed the lawsuit.
Source: Fierce Wireless