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.
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
- T-Mobile and Samsung roll out Note II update with multi-window support
- CNET: Samsung Galaxy Note II review: The ultimate anti-iPhone
- Better hardware and software make the Galaxy Note II the best Android available
- Top 5 smartphones for the holiday season
- T-Mobile Galaxy Note II first impressions: Samsung stepped up to the plate with this upgrade
- T-Mobile Galaxy Note II available today for $379.99, I'm upgrading to it from the GSIII