In a set of announcements on Tuesday, T-Mobile USA said it would begin selling the iPhone 5 and other new phones, and announced that it had launched LTE in seven cities.
The new phones and LTE accompanied a new three-tiered pricing structure unveiled by T-Mobile on Sunday for unlimited voice, text and high-speed data at $50, $60 or $70 a month. The two cheapest plans throttle speeds to 2G levels -- perhaps 50 Kbps to 100 Kbps -- when the data usage exceeds 500 MB in a month for the $50 plan and 2.5 GB in a month for the $60 plan.
In a Webcast today, T-Mobile CEO John Legere described the new phone pricing and rate plans as a way to simplify and clarify how a wireless carrier should work for consumers. "It's more transparency, more certainty, with unlimited everything," he said. Read more...
The new iPad's LTE option, which allows access to fast 4G networks, has also shocked some customers who found they can eat up an entire month's worth of data watching just a couple hours of streaming video.
For a long time, analysts and even carriers have urged customers to download videos and other large files over Wi-Fi to avoid the high price of using a cellular connection.
But that hasn't stopped owners of the new iPad and some recent LTE Android-based smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus from leveling renewed criticism at carriers like AT&T and Verizon Wireless for imposing high data fees. Read more...
Sprint Nextel will launch LTE in the first half of this year, most likely beginning in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, Texas, and Atlanta, the company announced on Thursday.
Those cities are expected to be the first to get LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and upgrades to Sprint's 3G network, CEO Dan Hesse announced at the Citigroup Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference in San Francisco, Sprint said. All told, Sprint expects to launch LTE in 11 markets by the middle of this year, Hesse said.
The initial rollouts would put Sprint right in the face of AT&T, which it has bitterly fought over the latter's failed bid to acquire T-Mobile USA. AT&T is based in Dallas, and its wireless arm, AT&T Mobility, operates out of Atlanta.
Sprint was the first major U.S. carrier with a 4G network when it rolled out a WiMax network with partner Clearwire in 2008, but it will be deploying LTE later than rivals Verizon and AT&T. Sprint has said that its LTE network would launch and reach approximately 275 million U.S. residents by early 2014. Sprint is still on track to meet its rollout targets, Hesse said. Read more...
If you're impressed with the current generation of LTE services, wait until you get a load of LTE Advanced.
Ericsson announced on Tuesday that it had conducted a demonstration of LTE Advanced technology in Sweden that saw speeds peak at just under 1Gbps, which marks a tenfold increase over the peak speeds of current LTE networks.
The company says that the first commercial LTE Advanced services will up and running in 2013.
The current version of LTE is essentially a bridge from 3G technologies such as HSPA and EV-DO Rev. A to the 4G IMT-Advanced technologies that the International Telecommunications Union has said will support average speeds up to 100Mbps. Read more...