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.
T-Mobile has started a new LTE roll-out, aiming to upgrade half of its existing 2G/EDGE spectrum to 4G by the end of 2014, along with an ambitious roadmap to use 700MHz A-Block spectrum it's currently in the process of acquiring for even more LTE this year. The news, which comes around a year after T-Mobile began its first LTE service, should see existing 2G and EDGE areas updated to LTE by the middle of 2015, the carrier predicts, as its legal department gets busy trying to take on Verizon Wireless' coverage maps.
With an increase in number of mobile application and our dependency on the Internet, it was only a matter of time before a mobile service provider sweetened the deal for consumers. T-Mobile raises the stakes by offering additional 4G LTE data, tethering and unlimited international texting at no additional charge. The $50 Simple Choice Plan was well received when it made its debut last year, and under this scheme, T-Mobile hopes to do away with "customer extortion" in terms of wireless data caps and overage fees by offering new upgrades.
T-Mobile USA has tweaked its Stateside International Talk & Text calling add-on, adding a new tier of service that drops its limitation that international numbers must be landlines. The new $15 plan - $5 more than the existing Stateside International Talk & Text package launched in October last year - now includes unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling from the US to in excess of thirty countries worldwide.
T-Mobile has updated its JUMP early-upgrade program to remove the minimum waiting period before customers can get a new phone, but you may end up paying more than before thanks to a tweak to the small print. JUMP, announced back in 2013, previously permitted an upgrade every six months in return for a $10 per month fee (which also includes insurance); now, T-Mobile has dropped that six month minimum, but expects subscribers to also pay off at least half the cost of their phone in the process.