T-Mobile rolling out iPhone 5 on new LTE network in U.S

T-Mobile is also debuting its LTE network in seven U.S. cities

T-Mobile on Tuesday unveiled the Apple iPhone 5 for its wireless network and said it will offer the phone for an initial payment of US$99 without a contract, followed by monthly installments.

The iPhone 5 will be available in stores starting April 12, said John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, during an event in New York City. The iPhone will be locked, and users will have to pay installments of $20 per month over 24 months to cover the cost of the smartphone.

Offering the phone without a contract gives customers the flexibility on when they move to their next Apple device, Legere said.

"We are thrilled with the partnership we've created with Apple," Legere said. "It was such a ... void in our product portfolio."

Users can give back the iPhone and stop making payments on it if they decide to leave T-Mobile and move over to another carrier, T-Mobile executives said. The smartphone cannot be switched over to other carriers like AT&T, but it can be unlocked after the payment obligations are completed.

T-Mobile's iPhone offering is different from the way carriers have packaged smartphones, in which the latest handsets are offered at discounted prices with long-term contracts.

The new phone will work on LTE networks, which T-Mobile officially debuted on Tuesday in seven U.S. cities. The company will turn on LTE in Houston; Baltimore; Kansas City, Missouri; Phoenix; Las Vegas; San Jose, California; and Washington, D.C.

When a signal isn't available, the iPhone users will fall back from LTE to HSPA+ or other compatible networks. T-Mobile's LTE network will reach 100 million users in the U.S. by the middle of the year, and 200 million by the end of the year, the company said.

T-Mobile is shedding the idea of long contract plans, announcing new monthly voice and data plans that do not require long-term contracts. The data plans for individuals have unlimited text and data, and also offer fast data speeds up to a certain threshold. Data will go down to slower speeds after passing the high-speed threshold, but in these cases users don't have to pay overage fees.

"When you choose T-Mobile, you get unlimited everything," Legere said.

The new plans start at $50 per month for unlimited talk, text and Internet with 500MB of high-speed data, after which Internet speed slows down. For $10, 2GB of high-speed data can be added per line, or for unlimited 4G, data is available for $20 more per line. T-Mobile will put a "fair use" policy into place in which users of the unlimited plan could be throttled in case of overuse of the data plan, for example regularly downloading gigabytes of data, executives said.

So, for $60, users get talk, text and 2.5GB of high-speed data. For $70, users get unlimited high-speed data, which includes its current HSPA+ and LTE networks. Tethering plans are included, except for the $70 unlimited plan, which has a specific limit.

A second phone line can be added to existing plans for $30 per month, with each additional line for $10 per month.

Smartphones such as Samsung's Galaxy S4 will be available on the new data plans. T-Mobile did not announce a specific date and availability. Smartphones like the HTC One and BlackBerry Z10 will also be available on the new mobile plans.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags telecommunicationCarriersT-Mobile USA

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?