Mobile

T-Mobile’s next steps: no-contract unlimited 4G, free 4G for laptops and tablets, and HD Voice calls

T-Mobile just unleashed a flurry of news at CES: The company’s popular Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan is going contract free tomorrow, it’s launching a new program to bring 4G wireless to laptops and tablets, and it’s also the first U.S. carrier to launch HD Voice for clear calls.

Oh, and it has also partnered with Major League Baseball to power a new on-field communication system. Whew.

First launched last September, T-Mobile says its Unlimited Nationwide 4G data plan has been a smashing success, attracting nearly 46 percent of new subscribers last month. Starting tomorrow, T-Mobile is going to make the plan even more appealing by offering it for $70 a month with no contract.

Such a move could help T-Mobile stand apart from AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which have both moved away from unlimited plans. But it’s hard to say if it will be enough to stem T-Mobile’s subscriber bleed. T-Mobile remains the only U.S. carrier without the iPhone, which has led to some dismal earnings for the last several quarters.

T-Mobile is also launching “4G Connect,” an effort to equip more laptops and tablets with 4G access. The program will kick off on a few Windows 8 laptops and Ultrabooks, including the Dell Inspiron 14z and HP Pavilion dm1. The amount of free data on every device will vary, but T-Mobile says you’ll be able ot get up to 200 megabytes of free monthly 4G service when you pick up on of the 4G Connect computers. For additional data, you can choose from any of the carrier’s monthly plans.

HD Voice, which offers a significant improvement on call quality, has been flipped on for T-Mobile’s network today, the carrier announced. You’ll need a compatible 4G smartphone to take advantage of HD Voice, and it’ll only work with other HD Voice capable T-Mobile subscribers for now. But it’s still a major get for T-Mobile. For all of its competitors LTE network advancements, call quality hasn’t improved much.

T-Mobile also said that it has launched support for 1900 megahertz spectrum in Denver, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Virginia Beach, which will allow unlocked iPhone owners to utilize the full speed of its network. The carrier now supports the iPhone-ready spectrum in 46 metro areas.

When it comes to its own LTE network, T-Mobile plans to kick off its coverage with Las Vegas in the next few weeks, the Verge reports. The carrier plans to cover more than 100 million people with its LTE network by the middle of the year.


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