CES 2014: T-Mobile offers families a Get Out of Jail Free card, launches fastest LTE in US

T-Mobile has been making waves in the US wireless carrier space with their Uncarrier announcements and the 4th edition brings ETF payments, new devices, and fastest LTE in the US.

CES 2014: T-Mobile offers families a Get Out of Jail Free card, launches fastest LTE in US
Image: T-Mobile

I have now been with T-Mobile for more than 10 years and while I was laughed at for sticking with them over the years, my loyalty is paying off with low monthly fees and soon the fastest LTE network in the US.

ZDNet's Zack Whittaker earlier wrote about the leaked ad indicating T-Mobile will pay off ETF (early termination fees) to get you to switch. At CES, T-Mobile's John Legare just announced all the details. T-Mobile's CTO also talked with my buddy Sascha Segan and revealed how they achieved launching the nation's fastest LTE network.

LG and Sony already announced that the LG G Flex and Sony Xperia Z1s will be launching soon on T-Mobile. Samsung will also be bringing their Galaxy Tabe 3 (7.0), that's quite a name, to T-Mobile soon as well.

ETF offer

AT&T tried to trump this T-Mobile announcement , but their $250 credit, and swindling Next service obligation for the other $200, is a weak offer compared to what T-Mobile announced. Not to mention that you will pay more for AT&T's service than you will with T-Mobile.

In the past I considered switching to Verizon since they have great coverage where I live, work, and play. However, that also meant I would have to pay nearly $1,000 in ETF fees for my family of five and that was with low ETFs. AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon have smartphone ETFs of up to $350 so the ETF is a huge deterrent for switching carriers.

Customers who want to make the switch turn their device into T-Mobile and get a credit of up to $300 for that phone. You then need to buy a T-Mobile smartphone. Remember, they do have $0 down options and zero percent interest offers. When you get your final bill, with the ETF, from your existing carrier then you mail or upload that bill and T-Mobile will give you back up to $350 per line.

So, the offer is very good, but you do have to meet the three requirements to get your ETF paid off. Again, they are: trade-in of your old phone, purchase of a new T-Mobile phone, and porting of your phone number to T-Mobile.

Make sure you have good T-Mobile coverage in your area before you make the switch. T-Mobile is wonderful for me and my family, but we have amazing LTE coverage. T-Mobile isn't for everyone, but they sure save me a ton of money and offer wonderful customer service.

Fastest LTE

Sascha's PCMag interview with T-Mobile CTO, Neville Ray, has all the details on how T-Mobile went from having no LTE to the fastest LTE network in just a couple years. Increasing their spectrum allows them to cover more people with faster speeds. According to PCMag's article, "In December 2013, T-Mobile LTE customers averaged 17.8Mbps down. Verizon customers scored 14.7Mbps, AT&T 14.3Mbps, and Sprint 7.9Mbps."

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