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.
T-Mobile has won its battle over the color magenta, with a federal court ruling AT&T's subsidiary brand Aio Wireless must cease using the distinctive hue. The case, filed back in August 2013, began when Aio Wireless - which targets cellphone users looking for prepaid or contract-free plans - started using large blocks of what it referred to as "plum" color in its advertisements and promotional materials.
AT&T has introduced a new group tariff, Mobile Share Value Plan, aimed at families and small businesses perhaps tempted by T-Mobile's competitive "Uncarrier" prices. Available both for new sign-ups and existing subscribers, the plan - available from today - doesn't include subsidized devices for those fresh to AT&T's network, but cuts the cost of high data allowances (for those sharing over 10GB among multiple devices) and the price of adding different lines. The carrier claims that existing families all on AT&T could save as much as $100 per month by switching over.
AT&T has ramped up its retaliation against T-Mobile, responding to criticisms that it was not doing enough for existing subscribers by offering them a new credit to avoid them jumping ship to the magenta upstart. The carrier will slap $100 in credit onto the monthly bill of any new or existing customer who activates a new line of service on their account, whether that be for a phone, tablet, hotspot, or wireless home line.
T-Mobile has cranked up its offensive against AT&T, issuing a bizarrely tongue-in-cheek press release fabricating quotes from AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega as it snipes at its rival's $450 "buy back" campaign to get former subscribers to return. The release, published as AT&T announced its Q4 2013 financial results, credits its own "Uncarrier" movement as motivating AT&T to offer to pay customers if they come back from their T-Mobile contacts.
It seems almost ridiculous that people have to pay others just to use their own money, but that is how the world currently turns. T-Mobile, however, is of a different opinion and is introducing Mobile Money as a way to keep those check cashers, payday lenders and withdrawal fees at bay.
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.
LG's G Flex will go on sale in the US from January 31st, with the curved OLED smartphone unsurprisingly commanding top-tier pricing for its unusual form-factor. The smartphone, which we reviewed last month, will be a hefty $299.99 with a new, two-year agreement, though in return you get lengthy battery life - thanks to a specially-crafted curved battery - and a 13-megapixel camera.