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The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) wants T-Mobile to answer some questions related to the shutdown of the CDMA network that it inherited from Sprint. Specifically, the CPUC said T-Mobile made statements under oath “indicating that Dish would have up to three years in which to complete Boost customer migration.”
In a ruling Friday, the CPUC ordered T-Mobile to show cause why it shouldn’t be sanctioned by the commission for violating certain rules related to “its false, misleading or omitted statements” indicating that its CDMA network would be available to Boost customers until they were migrated to Dish’s services.
The CPUC is asking T-Mobile about claims related to the use of Sprint PCS spectrum, the use of PCS spectrum in T-Mobile’s 5G buildout, and promises about giving Dish up to three years in which to complete the Boost customer migration.
As part of the federal government’s remedy in the Sprint/T-Mobile merger, the parties agreed that Sprint’s Boost wireless business would be sold to Dish, allowing Dish to operate as a nationwide carrier using T-Mobile’s network while Dish builds its own 5G network.  
According to the CPUC, T-Mobile President of Technology Neville Ray listed during his CPUC testimony 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.”
In response to questions regarding the potential of the Dish divestiture to affect the 5G buildout, “T-Mobile never indicated that using PCS spectrum for CDMA service could impact T-Mobile’s 5G buildout. Nor did T-Mobile ever reveal that PCS spectrum was used to provide CDMA service to Boost customers.”
The 8-page ruling issued Friday came after Dish filed a petition with the CPUC in April.
“The California PUC made the right decision in recognizing that T-Mobile should be held to the commitments it made under oath while its merger was under review, including that the CDMA network will be operational until July 1, 2023,” Dish said in a statement today provided to Fierce. “The three-year time frame T-Mobile promised is necessary to ensure that millions of CDMA customers are not disrupted or economically disadvantaged.”
RELATED: Dish petitions CPUC over T-Mobile CMDA shutdown
T-Mobile issued the following statement: “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.”
A remote hearing is set before the California administrative law judge on Monday, September 20.
Earlier this year, Dish asked regulators to assist with regard to T-Mobile’s notice to shut down the CDMA network on January 1, 2022. The Department of Justice (DoJ) asked both parties to present their positions and last month, the DoJ said it holds “grave concerns about the potential for a nationwide CDMA shutdown” leaving a substantial proportion of Boost’s customers without service.  
RELATED: T-Mobile CDMA shutdown sparks ‘grave concerns’ at DoJ
The behavior of both parties in the coming months potentially are implicated, and the DoJ said it expects everyone to take all available steps to ensure a smooth transition for Boost customers off the CDMA network prior to its shutdown. But if any conduct suggests a violation to the prior agreed upon final judgement, the DoJ will act “swiftly to pursue all remedies” available. 
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