Amidst its other event-related news this evening, T-Mobile has announced a big change for music lovers: music streaming without it affecting your data quota. CEO Legere, calling himself a "music freak", said he was "outraged" at the use of music to lure in subscribers to "over-priced plans". Music should be free, he said, and so starting now it no longer counts towards one's 4G data on the carrier's Simple Choice plans.
At its event today, T-Mobile has announced that interested consumers can take the carrier's network for a spin through its new T-Mobile Test Drive program. Under Test Drive, prospective subscribers are given an iPhone 5s with unlimited service to use for up to seven days, sans cost.
When it comes to quiet, reserved CEOs, T-Mobile chief John Legere hardly qualifies, but the outspoken exec has been even more forthright today amid chatter of an AT&T exclusive on the new Amazon phone. Reports earlier suggested Amazon has inked a deal with AT&T to be the sole carrier offering its new, 3D-toting smartphone, something Legere believes is officially A Bad Idea.
Smartphones and tablets are faster and more capable than ever, but without a similarly speedy internet connection - usually LTE - they're still hamstrung. Unfortunately carrier maps are generally more interested in breadth of coverage than quality, hence third-party testing has stepped in to help answer the question of "Which US carrier is the best?" As you might expect, though, the results are complicated.
T-Mobile has lit up Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in Seattle, allowing those with certain smartphones to make voice calls routed over 4G and with the benefit of better quality. Currently supported on the LG G Flex, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and Galaxy Light, T-Mobile's VoLTE follows AT&T's launch of its equivalent service earlier this month, though only on a single phone.
Dish Network, which is readying an Internet-based television service reportedly for a late summer launch, is eyeing T-Mobile, according to company chairman Charlie Ergen. During the company's Q1 earnings call today, Ergen also revealed that a DirecTV merger is too expensive at this point.
T-Mobile USA has detailed its LTE expansion, having finally closed the deal to snap up a new chunk of low-band 700MHz A-Block spectrum which it intends to flush with 4G service before the year is out. "We anticipate customers will begin reaping the benefits as early as the end of this year," CTO Neville Ray wrote today, promising not only improvements in speed but in coverage, and how far signals reach into buildings.
T-Mobile is offering free 4G data for tablets, allowing subscribers with post-paid phone accounts to add their 4G-enabled slate to their agreement and, for a limited period, get 1GB of data at no cost. Dubbing the announcement - with a little of its by-now-expected hyperbole - "Operation Tablet Freedom", the new promotion follows Wednesday's Simple Starter plan.
Sales of the HTC One M8 have begun in-store at carriers across the US today, with the new flagship Android smartphone turning up at AT&T locations among others. HTC surprised many by putting its new One M8 on sale the very day it was announced, though a brief exclusivity period kept it at Verizon stores only.
T-Mobile USA has launched a new "value" plan, Simple Starter, offering LTE data including tethering, along with unlimited talk and text, for $40 per month. The new plan, part of what T-Mobile calls its continuing "Uncarrier" movement, will also distinguish itself by cutting 4G data access when the subscriber reaches the 500MB limit, rather than allowing them to go over and then charging them overage fees.