CES 2013: T-Mobile promotes their 'Uncarrier' status with no-contract unlimited plan and free laptop data

CES 2013: T-Mobile promotes their 'Uncarrier' status with no-contract unlimited plan and free laptop data

Summary: There's a lot to be excited about in T-Mobile's announcements -- including an LTE rollout and Major League Baseball deal. My patience with their data network over the past decade is going to pay off soon.

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CES 2013: T-Mobile promotes their 'Uncarrier' status with no-contract unlimited plan and free laptop data

T-Mobile held a press conference last night at CES in Las Vegas and issued four press releases describing their MLB partnership, unlimited no-annual contract plan, 4G Connect laptop and tablet service, and network enhancements (LTE and HD Voice). As a T-Mobile customer for longer than ten years, there is a lot to be excited about in these announcements and my patience with their data network over the years is going to pay off soon.

MLB Partnership

I enjoy watching baseball, primarily when my Seattle Mariners are doing well, and one of the four announcements made by T-Mobile is a new technology and marketing agreement.

T-Mobile is now the Official Wireless Sponsor of the MLB and I understand it is the first time in more than a decade that the MLB has partnered with one of the major wireless carriers. T-Mobile technology will be used to power dugout-to-bullpen communications and also enhance communications in MLB ballparks.

No-Annual-Contract Unlimited Plan

T-Mobile is pushing hard to compete with the other major wireless carriers and their new unlimited no-annual-contract option will be launched today starting at just $70 per month. Sprint is the only other carrier to still offer an unlimited data plan, but their unlimited voice, data, and messaging plan is priced at $109.99 per month and requires a two-year contract.

$70 per month for unlimited data, voice, and messaging with no contract is an amazing deal that I would jump on if I wasn't already locked into a sweet, grandfathered family plan. It is good to know there is an option like this out there though and I imagine attractive plans like this may help bring subscribers to T-Mobile, even if it doesn't mean they are signed up for the long term.

LTE, more HSPA+, and HD Voice

T-Mobile continues to enhance its HSPA+ network and is getting ready to activate LTE in select markets. They state that 100 million people will be covered by LTE by mid-year and 200 million people by the end of the year. T-Mobile announced that their HD Voice technology is up and running NOW on their nationwide network.

To experience HD Voice, you need a supported smartphone such as the HTC One S, Nokia Astound, or Samsung Galaxy S III.

I love using my Samsung Galaxy Note II and as I have mentioned before it already has the necessary technology inside to run on T-Mobile's upcoming LTE network so it is nearly the perfect device for me. I understand T-Mobile and Samsung will roll out an update to enable LTE support on the Note II and look forward to testing out these enhanced speeds.

Then again, I get fantastic HSPA+ speeds on T-Mobile in the Puget Sound area and speed is not something I have been missing out on when compared to other LTE networks.

4G Connect for laptops and tablets

Similar to how Google provides free wireless connectivity on the Chromebook, T-Mobile announced 4G Connect where they will give selected notebooks, tablets, and Ultrabooks free data access with no contract or committment. Supported devices include the HP Pavilion dm1 and Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook. Others with Qualcomm chips will be supported, including Windows RT devices.

You can get up to 200 MB of free data per month for up to two years with selected hardware. If you need more data, you can purchase it with no contract at a rate starting at $10 per GB. The idea with 4G Connect is that everyone with a supported device, including those who are not currently T-Mobile customers, experiences T-Mobile's 4G network.

Related CBS Interactive coverage

Topics: CES, Android, Mobility, Smartphones

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6 comments
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  • Seems like a smart move...

    to create a disruption in the status quo of Mobile Carriers in the U.S. This will likely drive down AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon prices for similar (if not unlimited) packages. I will likely go to T-Mobile store and see if this Unlimited 4G plan works in an acceptable manner with my unlocked Google Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ phone. If it does, I may be saying so long to AT&T.
    jkohut
  • $70 a month

    Is just ridiculous! Why do these cell companies think that pricing is fair?
    SpankyFrost
    • I agree

      It is still overpriced, but it's a move in the right direction.
      mrefuman
      • so what is the fair price?

        .
        vpupkin
  • Many, don't need unlimited, but are getting nudged there...

    I really need a plan that can do about 300 Voice Minutes, 50 texts a month, and has about
    1 GB of data. Would like that for about $40. Hard to find and if you go, pay as you go you end up spending more, having to transfer money, etc... AT&T pushed me to a 2 GB /month plan because the smaller option was 250GB (or something similar) which would have probably caused me to hit overages (thereby making them a lot of money). Vendors and Customers would benefit from graduated plans (and with computers doing the billing, I can't image that it is that difficult to implement).
    jkohut
    • RE: Many, don't need unlimited, but are getting nudged there...

      Well, you are in luck. That already exists.

      Virgin Mobile's BEYOND TALK is 300 voice minutes, unlimited texts and data for $35:

      http://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phone-plans/beyond-talk-plans/overview/

      TMobile also has a prepaid plan with unlimited texts and data for $30. While it includes only 100 minutes, if you get a phone with free WiFi calling, you could use that for the remaining 200 minutes:

      http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/monthly-4g-plans
      Mwendo