[Photo: The Verge]
It is one thing to brag about one’s fast Internet speeds and LTE network, but another thing to tell the truth. T-Mobile has had a lot of catching up to do, seeing that it acquired the iPhone 5 yesterday after six years of lost customers and strange looks from iPhone lovers. As it is often said, some things are “well worth the wait.” T-Mobile certainly thinks so.
Immediately after T-MO CEO John Legere’s announcement, tech writers and iPhone lovers took to the streets of New York City to test out the new LTE network. The results? T-Mo’s LTE network will hold its own against the existing LTE networks of the Big Three. Tech site Engadget reported that it saw somewhere between 18-26Mbps for upload speeds, and 10Mbps for download speeds:
“Finally, we tested two separate iPhone 5s and, interestingly, saw different speeds. The first averaged 26Mbps down, the second 18 — despite being tested at the same time. Upload speeds hovered around 10Mbps and pings were always very good, typically under 50ms…the network can certainly deliver some impressive numbers on average” (Julie Clover, “T-Mobile’s iPhone 5 Reviews”).
While Engadget tested T-Mo’s LTE speeds, Gizmodo tested T-Mo’s HD voice calling capabilities on the new iPhone 5. The site seemed extremely pleased with T-Mo’s new HD voice:
“Calling from one T-Mobile iPhone to another, my caller’s voice came through loud and clear…it was a much more natural sounded call. It was a bit richer, and definitely fuller. I wouldn’t say it was like night and day, but it’s definitely a noticeable improvement” (Clover, “T-Mobile’s iPhone 5 Reviews”).
Keep in mind that these are initial responses to the new phones, sounds, and network, but it is extremely encouraging.
T-Mobile’s iPhone 5 will offer HD voice, making Magenta the only national carrier in wireless history to offer the feature. Since T-Mobile has leveled its prepaid and off-contract plans, prepaid customers will be able to purchase their unlocked iPhone 5 with T-Mobile branding in T-Mo retail stores nationwide. Value plan customers will be given the choice of either paying for their iPhone outright or paying over a near-two-year period. If you decide to trade in your iPhone for a new one (or another smartphone), you will be given what T-Mobile calls a “fair price”. It seems that the fair price in question will need to be determined at a later date.
One new feature that you may not see with your new iPhone 5 from T-Mobile is WiFi calling. For the longest time, this feature has separated contract customers from prepaid customers. No more; as of yesterday, WiFi calling will no longer be offered through T-Mobile. The reason? All value plans will come with unlimited voice minutes — eliminating the need for WiFi calling, since you no longer have to conserve your voice minutes for fear that you will run over your monthly allotment.
Just think: your iPhone 5 will come with unlimited HD voice (that’s right: it’s unlimited AND HD voice!), unlimited texting, and the data plan of your choice — all with the T-Mobile branding on the back of your iPhone 5. T-Mobile has got its groove back, and Magenta will build pride in her wireless service one step at a time.