T-Mobile announces HD voice, will release a new edition of the Galaxy S3 with dormant LTE radios for now


T-Mobile held its CES press conference last night and revealed some very good network-related news. We all know its LTE rollout will begin this year, but details were scarce. We weren’t even sure which devices would be coming to take advantage of the new speedy network, but T-Mobile put the first of those questions to rest by announcing that the Samsung Galaxy S3 would get a relaunch sometime soon.

The new SKU will apparently launch before the network goes live with the LTE radios disabled, but once the towers are up and delivering the juice T-Mobile will issue a software upgrade to enable them. Those who bought the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 may not need a new phone, though, as that phone did come with the dormant LTE radios during its first run. We imagine T-Mobile will issue a similar software upgrade for it.

In related news, T-Mobile has announced its HD Voice service will launch today, delivering crystal clear calls between compatible parties. The catch is that both participants must have an HD Voice device in order for it work, and those include the Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One S and the Nokia Astound.

In addition to that, T-Mobile announced a $4 billion plan for enhancing its network for hundreds of millions of people. The company will launch 4G (HSPA+ for now, we presume) on the 1900MHz spectrum soon, and has added new coverage to metro markets of Denver, Los Angeles, San Diego and Virginia Beach. 46 metro cities in all will get the enhancements, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas and more.

Finally, T-Mobile announced unlimited nationwide 4G would be available with no annual contract starting today. It’s always a good sign when a carrier adds unlimited data services instead of going the popular route of trying to kill it wherever it can. Oh, and T-Mobile and Major League Baseball have entered a partnership to make T-Mobile the official wireless partner of America’s favorite pastime, so don’t be surprised to see quite a few Carly ads between innings.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. T-Mobile making moves! I’ve been waiting for HD voice to hit the wireless industry for what seems like ages now. I feel like everyone’s been so focused on getting “faster than your home internet” data speeds that they’ve forgotten that cellular voice calls have sounded like absolute sh*t for years with almost no advancement. This is long overdue for sure.

    Guess it’s time to put my current GS3 on Craigslist…

    Also… I wonder if HTC has been working on an HD voice capable One X for T-Mobile as well. We saw that T-Mobile branded One X yesterday on the showroom floor. Wishful thinking? :)

    1. I would be more grateful for HD voice if I actually made more than 3 calls per week :p

      But I agree, those three calls sound like sh*t.

    2. Would be nice is they paired 64gb of internal…then Id be sold.

      1. would be nice, wont happen though. With Samsung you will have to get an SD card to get that much. Maybe in the next 5 years they might come with that much internally.

    3. I got a hundy spot with your name on it for that there GS3… O.o

      1. 4 hundies and you have yourself a deal :p

        1. Three?

  2. Word up! Their value plan has true unlimited 4G (averaging 12mbps in Denver) , talk, and text (bring your own phone) for 2 people for only $130! Compare that to ATT or Verizon, and I’m saving over $2,000 in 2 years with no contract. Plus, since I have a Nexus 4 and my wife has a Galaxy Nexus, we use the wifi hotspot for free and save another $2,000 on cable internet costs. Can any body beat that with another phone/network combo?

    1. The unlimited data is nice and all, but the speed and coverage of T-Mo is horrible…… I went from VZW LTE to TMO 4G and you notice the difference………. saving a couple of bucks was not worth it…

      1. T-Mobile sucks if you work underground or in a deep skyscraper. It also has little coverage in rural areas or in the mountains. If that’s you, I totally agree. VZW is a no brainer is you’re ok with data caps. But here in Denver and it’s suburbs (and pretty much any major city) the coverage is great. $4000 over 2 years is not “a few bucks.”

        1. That’s where tmobiles WiFi calling comes in. Allows people to reach you on your number even in places Verizon doesn’t have coverage

      2. Yeah, if you live in the mountains in rural country, I’d go with VZW in a heartbeat.

        But since when is $2000 “a couple of bucks?” Who are you – Mitt Romney?

        I wish Verizon didn’t have those stupid data caps. Why why bother with super fast LTE if you have data limits?

      3. It was a 66% upgrade for me based on data speed alone. I’m the one that gave the 33% as I had a Galaxy Nexus on Verizon and went to a Note II on TMo. My other two lines had an iPhone 4S and a Droid 3 and went to S3s on TMo- so they went from 3G to HSPA+.

        I’m saving $70 a month. Even if I have to be more selective about where I’m standing when I place a call, it’s worth $70/mo to me.

        … but then Mitt I’m not….

    2. You forgot to factor the T-Mobile sponsorship money.

      1. You forgot to identify yourself as a troll.

        T-Mobile is far from perfect and I’d love for someone to answer my question above and find a better phone/network combo. I’d move in a second.

        1. Calm down, I’m glad you are so happy with T-Mobile…I have nothing against that. I found humor in your glowing support which read like an advertisement you would hear directly from the company. I don’t have a better phone/network combo suggestion, I’m on Verizon (legacy unlimited data) because I live in the Northwest and get the best coverage in the sticks, but there are plenty of issues with Big Red.

    3. Well, I download wirelessly at home between 2-3MBps on a 50MB connection. I have 3 laptops, a home PC, 3 cell phones, 2 PS3’s and two TVs, my thermostat that are all considered wireless. In essence I kind of need home wireless for my lifestyle

    4. Good deal. I’ve got 2 unlimited data accounts (Thunderbolt & Rezound… I know, I know) — $153 … speeds of 25-35 Mbps around town – San Diego. We haven’t cut out cable yet but I’ll re-visit the idea when the cable/internet/phone trifecta of $99 runs out in 12 months.

  3. I thought T-Mobile has had unlimited 4g? What’d I miss?

    1. They have HSPA+ 42, which is 6 times faster than 3g. In real usage, it’s fast enough to smoothly stream full 1080p with no stuttering and load times under 5 seconds. They stopped capping and throttling people last year. So right now it’s only Sprint and T-Mobile in the true unlimited game. Once T-Mobile launches their LTE, I’m going to use the quick hack to allow my Nexus 4 to access the dormant LTE. To be honest, HSPA+ 42 is faster than my current CenturyLink cable internet, but LTE is even faster.

      1. yea but poor sprint is naturally throttled, hahaha.

        1. how do you figure that ?

          1. becuz its dogshit slow .. i had ltevo best phone ever worst network.. ran back to one s on t mob ive hit 20 down in nyc average 14-15

          2. Sprint is only deploying 5X5Mhz for its LTE so its naturally going to be slower than the other three carriers LTE who are initially using 10X10 and soon 20X20 where they can.

    2. You missed the fact that T-mobile didn’t offer Unlimited Nationwide 4g for Prepaid this is what they are now referring to as now they will. It used to just be for contract plans value and classic now its all plans.

    3. T-Mobile had unlimited 4G for contract plans. Now it is also going to be available for non-contract/pre-paid accounts too. I have the Nexus 4 unlocked, and I get 5G and unlimited Talk/Text. Now I will have unlimited 4G all the time, without the throttling.

  4. I guess this is what the dormant LTE radio in the Nexus 4 is for as well.

    1. I can only hope, but the issue on the Nexus 4 is that there are no LTE antennas…

        1. I was definitely encouraged by that news when I first heard it. I think that Google/LG have a few perks in store with the Nexus 4 that we don’t even know about yet.

          1. The only “perk” with an LG phone is that it may not become super glitchy over the course of ownership, but likely it will. Ill buy a NEXUS when HTC makes one again. ITs been a long wait.

          2. All I can say is that my Nexus 4 is smooth and awesome. If the LTE part does work, and T-Mobile does use the AWS band, then I will be happier than a pig in poop… :)

      1. Actually, there is an antenna for T-Mobile’s LTE, and a couple of Canadian bands. It won’t with ATT.

      2. Yeah it seems confusing, the tear down reports said it was missing the LTE antennas and amplifiers. But it still worked on band IV in Canada? I wonder if it would work, just kill the battery or something?

        Never mind…just read the article that Drew posted here… that article says it has the power amplifier for band IV.

    2. Not quite. That’s sort of unintentionally there if all reports around the web are to be believed.

  5. sad thing is, after HD Voice is released and becomes mainstay, Apple will come out with an Iphone5s touting the first ever HD Voice phone. I bet they’ll even rip off the “pin drop” commercial from Sprint to show how clear it is. outside of that.. it’s tmobile…eh

  6. About time Magenta! I may leave Big Red soon and make my comeback.

  7. So, when are they going to finish upgrading the many areas of their network still running GPRS and EDGE? I have given up on them here in Northwestern California, the other guys already have 3G and 4G, and by the time T-Mobile gets in gear, the other guys will probably be onto 5G.

    1. It seems T-Mobile doesn’t like to mention this dirty little secret.

  8. It’s rather curious that they’re launching a new SKU for the S3. A friend recently purchased a mid-December build S3, and it shows an LTE option under the Mobile Networks setting menu. Even my Note 2 doesn’t show that.

    Edit: My wife’s mid-October build S3 is set to “LTE/GSM/WCDMA” for the network selection.

    Did tMobile just forget to remove that part from the JB firmware update? Whaddupwitdat?

  9. I am seriously considering switching from Vzn to T-Mobile when the Galaxy S4 comes out, LTE-Advanced + Unlimited Data, ohhhhhhh yeeeah!!!!!

    But I need a testimony from someone, preferably a customer not an employee how Tmobiles network is in Connecticut, the whole state, generally the New Britain/Hartford/Farmington/Newington, Berlin Turnpike.

    1. I lived in Bridgeport but now i am in New Haven, CT. I always get around 19 MB download speeds out doors and about 12 indoors. Good enough for me, I would leave Verizon if I were you, LTE in CT is nothing but a marketing tool.

    2. Those areas should have great network speeds on T-Mobile. I had great service when I traveled to Hartford last week.

    3. T-mobile 4g coverage is pretty good in NE in general. You’ll be stuck on Edge if you travel through the “quiet corner” of CT, apart from the UCONN area, but otherwise it’s pretty widespread. I avoid the Berlin TPK so I can’t comment on that.

      1. on t mob from long island to southern vermont i95 – i91 north i never lose 4g… with vzw i had crappy 3g tht wasnt even as good as edge and 1x sometimes wtf is 1x?

  10. To those who gave me feedback on T-Mobile coverage in Ct, thank you! Anymore testimonies from current T-Mobile customers in the New Britain/Newington/Farmington/Hartford/Berlin Turnpike area? How is signal strength? I use Google Navigation a lot on my smartphone to get around, so GPS is important to me.

  11. Happy to be a T-mo customer but I just used my upgrade :/

  12. still no data roaming.

  13. So T-mobile said screw the NBA…we going MLB 8itches!

  14. if your in nyc area nothings better than tmobile i average 14mbps and have full 4g from nyc to the hamptons where i work so stfu

    t mob the best

  15. cool, hopefully in 2 years they will be where they should have been already. if they can improve coverage and shift all 3g/2g to 4g lte, I’d love to switch back to their service.

  16. So when will it be a good time to “lose” or “accidentally break it” for an insurance claim to get the lte model?

  17. I’m not on T-Mobile , but shouldn’t they issue a discount for those who recently bought gs3? I’m just saying .

  18. Does that mean that the Nexus 4 will get an update to use LTE on T-Mobile?

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