Wednesday 9 January 2013

CES 2013: T-Mobile announce MLB partnership, 4G plans, '4G connect' and HD voice! Plus Legere's take on their rivals!

   T-Mobile took centre stage at CES today and they had four main points which they wanted to make from their pitch today. The first was a partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB), they also confirmed that an Unlimited Nationwide 4G plan is on the way without a fixed term(!), as is HD voice and a bunch of 4G 'things'.

   First up is T-Mobile's deal with the MLB. This agreement will make T-Mobile the "Official Wireless Sponsor of the Major League Baseball association". This deal will last for a few years and will involve the MLB Advanced Media company working with T-Mo to provide the On-Field Communication System, which will connect via T-Mobile's new 4G network, so that'll give you a little heads up as to which areas will be getting 4G first! This system will provide communication from managers to the dugouts, from dugouts to bullpens and a few other important connections! This will be rolled out during the next year!

    Secondly, we've heard rumblings of an unlimited 4G plan from T-Mobile for a while. But, now we finally have a confirmation that this will be a non-contract option, so there won't be a 24 month commitment and for $70 a month you will be getting yourself unlimited data, voice calls and texts, and the first 5GBs of your data usage will be at 4G speeds, we're not currently sure what'll happen after that, but we expect you'll get throttled! You can see the full details from T-Mobile's mouth here! If you're worried you won't be able to realise a 4G connection in your area then T-Mobile has pledged to cover 100 million people by the middle of this year and they hope to reach 200 million before the year is out!

   Other then that tariff T-Mobile has another trick for their 4G network and it involves your laptop and tablet. 4G Connect from T-Mobile will offer instantly-available connectivity to the T-Mo's 4G network assuming you have specific Dell and HP laptop models which have Qualcomm built signal receivers in. Depending on which computer you have you can get a complementary data allowance of up to 200MB free every month!

   T-Mobile is also keen to offer the residents of the US something which they've been rolling out over in Europe as well and that's HD Voice. T-Mobile said some of you will notice an increase in call quality as the company is rolling out this feature to the whole of their network, something which will give you a “dramatic improvement” in quality, T-Mobile isn't just saying that either, you genuinely can tell the difference! Unfortunately this will only be an option for those of you rocking 4G smartphones though!

John Legere.
   One thing which wasn't mentioned during their keynote was the arrival of iPhones on the network. But, thankfully John Legere, although declining to offer many details, did say that T-Mobile USA would be getting the iPhone sooner rather than later in an interview with Reuters. He pegged the time frame at "three to four months as opposed to six to nine months," which is great news!

   The whole thing was beautifully rounded off afterwards when, Legere started criticising his rivals. He said Verizon's shared data plans were a thing of the past, his exact words were, "a 10GB, 5-device shared data plan, when Joe Schmoe Junior starts to watch porn on his phone, isn't going to work," a valid point, very well made. He then mocked Sprint's WiMax to LTE switch and basically their 4G woes, before calling AT&T's network in New York 'crap'. This is definitely one way to get people's attention focused on T-Mobile and it seems fitting to round this one out the way Engadget start there posts: CEO-No he didn't!

Via Slashgear, ZDNet and PCMag.


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