After T-Mobile's rather biting offer, almost a bribe, for subscribers from other carriers to switch sides, it was only a matter of time before those carriers bit back. Now Verizon is announcing a revised Edge plan, shortening the 6-month wait to 30 days, to keep their customers from jumping ship.
T-Mobile has been talking Wideband LTE at CES, with early trials showing 147 Mbps downloads, while real-time tests of the carrier's existing 4G network are already out-performing AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. The carrier is using Speedtest.net results for a more timely indication of how T-Mobile's 4G compares to that of rivals. Meanwhile CEO John Legere ramped up his war with AT&T with the promise of a Cease & Desist letter.
T-Mobile has announced 4.4m customer additions to its network in 2013, turning around its dire slide of previous years, and seeing record numbers of subscribers jumping onboard with its "Un-carrier" approach. The carrier is now America's fastest growing, CEO John Legere said, with more than 1.6m new customers added in Q4 2013 alone.
T-Mobile USA has launched its "Un-carrier 4.0" phase, with outspoken CEO John Legere taking to the stage at CES 2014 to announce a "Get Out of Jail Free Card" to allow subscribers on rival networks to escape the early-termination fee and join his network. The carrier will pay off the ETF for AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint customers, as well as take their old phone as a trade-in, for what T-Mobile says is worth up to $650 per line. Meanwhile, there's a new set of smartphones too.
Voice, data, and a battery backup for those times when ice storms take out your landline: that's the promise Novatel Wireless' MiFi Home is making, also known as the Verizon 4G LTE Broadband Router with Voice. Unwieldy name but the hardware does a fair amount: like a traditional MiFi it'll share a mobile data connection, but plug a regular wired phone in and you can also make voice calls as if it were a landline, too.
Sony and T-Mobile have announced the Xperia Z1S, the US carrier's version of the Xperia Z1 that debuted in Europe back at IFA in September 2013. The 5-inch Full HD touchscreen is kept, of course, as is the 2.2GHz quadcore Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of memory, and - as we found here at CES 2014 - you can still dunk it in water and expect it to work.
LG has confirmed the US launch plans for the LG G Flex, with the curved smartphone set to launch later this quarter. The phone will be offered on AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and Sprint, the first curved handset to hit US shelves (unless Samsung can sneak in first with its Galaxy Round, of course).
Verizon has confirmed the launch of the $99.99 prepay Moto G, putting the mid-range Android smartphone on sale come January 9th. The smartphone - which features a 4.5-inch display and 5-megapixel camera - will show up in Verizon Wireless stores "in the coming weeks" the carrier says, though SlashGear has also been told that Best Buy in-store availability of the prepaid version is expected any day now at the same price.
Verizon's rumored $99.99 Moto G may end up significantly undercutting Motorola's own pricing for the smartphone, but little-known conditions around what you can do with the carrier's contract-free handsets could end up dampening enthusiasm. The phone, expected to launch early in the new year, has been suggested by some as a great way to replace an existing contract devices; however, as Android Community points out, Verizon's policies around switching prepaid to postpaid handsets could scupper the plans many have for a low-cost Android upgrade.