T-Mobile has been at the center of a many a headline today. After announcing that they would soon do the unthinkable and carry the iPhone at their stores, it seems that’s only the tip of the iceberg for 2013, which is shaping up to be their biggest year yet.
Lots ‘o money and network upgrades
First up, T-Mobile will be receiving a hefty sum of $4.7 billion from parent company Deutsche Telekom ($3 billion is also promised in both 2014 and 2015). This will help with the rollout of their upcoming LTE network, and in the refarming of their existing 2G network to 3G/4G. Speaking of refarming, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Atlanta are the latest cities to receive some of T-Mo’s network modernizing, bringing the official grand total to 18 markets in the US that have been upgraded.
While the focus of the 2G network upgrade has always been to snatch up existing iPhone users away from AT&T (of which there are supposedly already 1.7 million customers using iPhones on their network), there’s also a plethora of Android devices that will suddenly find themselves compatible on T-Mobile. AT&T exclusives like the HTC One X (or One X+) or even Verizon’s HTC DROID DNA, which works just fine on AT&T’s HSPA network thanks to its global roaming capabilities. T-Mobile’s merger with MetroPCS is also said to clear in 2013, a move that will help gain them even greater network coverage, along with better LTE penetration as well.
Bye, bye Classic
Probably the wildest news in all this is T-Mobile decision to kill off their Classic Plan, moving away from tried-and-true method of carrier subsidized handsets. You know, the way other carriers offer you a heavily discounted smartphone in exchange for a high monthly bill? Before you freak out — this doesn’t mean customers will have to shell out $600-$700 for the latest smartphones. Not upfront anyway. I mean, that would never fly with Americans, no matter how much they’d save in the long run.
Instead, T-Mobile will allow for customers to pay for their handsets in installment payments over the course of their 2-year agreement. These payments — anywhere between $15-$20 a month — would be tacked on top of their low priced monthly plans. This will apparently save customers more at the end of their contract than if they went the traditional route (cheap phone, expensive rates).
Will T-Mobile survive?
As you can see, T-Mobile is doing more than outfitting Carly in black leather, they seem to be offering consumers with a real alternative. I’m excited to see how it all pans out. Anyone planning on sticking it out with T-Mobile a little longer? Any readers out there suddenly seeing T-Mobile as a viable network option for your new Android device? Oh, and if you got some time on your hands, you can watch the full announcement streaming from YouTube below.