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Sprint Braces U.S. Cellular Customers for Network Shutdown
By Craig Galbraith
August 30, 2013 - News
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Sprint, which acquired customers and spectrum from U.S. Cellular in some Midwestern markets earlier this year, is warning that it's getting ready to shut down affected portions of the U.S. Cellular network.

The shutdown takes effect for the St. Louis metro area, including in Missouri and bordering Illinois, on Oct. 31. America's third-largest wireless operator says the shutdown will allow it to reuse the spectrum to improve service on the Sprint network. Customers' service will be interrupted if they don't make the move to Sprint or another carrier before Halloween.

Sprint began sending letters to affected customers in June to notify them of the company’s plans. To avoid an interruption of their wireless service, affected customers in the St. Louis area need to move their service to Sprint or another carrier before the network is shut down on Oct. 31 — and they can keep their old U.S. Cellular number if they wish. Their devices, however, are incompatible with Sprint's network.

Sprint is giving the affected U.S. Cellular customers exclusive offers to move their service and get a new device, including options available at little or no cost. Similar offers are available to prepaid customers making the switch if they want to sign on with Sprint's Boost Mobile brand.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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