T-Mobile had quite a big day at CES today. Setting its sights on rising above its fourth place position and truly becoming a player that other carriers should worry about, T-Mobile made several announcements that are sure to please.
First up, LTE – T-Mobile is the last major carrier to start working on an LTE network, trailing behind Verizon, AT&T, and even Sprint. However, the carrier hopes to change this, as it expects 100 million people to be blanketed with LTE by mid-2013. By the end of 2013, that number will double to 200 million. And in preparation for the rollout, T-Mobile will start selling an updated version of the Samsung Galaxy S III with a dormant LTE radio that will be activated later through a software update.
Next, T-Mobile announced that HD voice service is launching today. Even though Sprint was actually the first to announce HD voice with the release of the HTC EVO 4G LTE, the carrier has been utterly silent about this feature ever since. So I think it’s safe to say that T-Mobile is actually the first carrier to launch HD voice, which will deliver crystal-clear calls between people with compatible phones (currently the Galaxy S III, HTC One S, and Nokia Astound). It’s not clear how many actual coverage areas have been updated to HD voice yet, but T-Mobile seems confident that a majority of customers with compatible phones will be able to enjoy the service soon.
Finally, unlimited 4G data with no throttling and no caps is available without a contract starting at $70/month. Of course, the 4G we’re talking about here is HSPA+, but T-Mobile has not indicated that it plans to charge any differently for LTE. In other words, if this plan ends up being compatible with T-Mobile LTE, Sprint will no longer be able to say that it’s the only carrier that offers unlimited LTE nationwide.
Things really are looking up for T-Mobile, and all of the carrier’s recent announcements have really got me reconsidering them as a viable option for my next phone upgrade. But how about you? Are you excited by what’s happening at the nation’s fourth largest carrier?
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