T-Mobile is gearing up to flip the switch on their LTE network. Today they began pushing out software updates for Android version 4.1.2/ Software T889UVBMB4 for the Samsung Galaxy Note II. The new update introduces LTE support along with other improvements for the device.
Joining the Galaxy Note II on T-Mobile’s 4G / LTE will be the BlackBerry Z10. In testing the LTE network Laptop Magazine is showing download speeds of 58.8 Mbps and uploads at 25.5 Mbps. Keep in mind those numbers are from a tower not under any type of load so probably wont be real world numbers when LTE goes live.
The software update will take place OTA (Over The Air) and if you want to read more about the update you can follow this link.
LTE will go live first in Las Vegas, NV and Kansas City. The plan is to cover 100 million people by mid 2013 and 200 million by years end.
T-Mobile and MetroPCS have been giving the go ahead by the FCC today to move forward with the merger. Last week the Department of Justice gave their approval by not responding to a pre-set deadline to stop the merger.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s statement on the merger:
“With today’s approval, America’s mobile market continues to strengthen, moving toward robust competition and revitalized competitors. We are seeing billions more in network investment, while the courts have upheld key FCC decisions to accelerate broadband build-out, promote competition, and benefit consumers, including our broadband data roaming and pole attachment rules. Today’s action will benefit millions of American consumers and help the U.S maintain the global leadership in mobile it has regained in recent years.
“Mobile broadband is a key engine of economic growth, with U.S. annual wireless capital investment up 40% over the last four years, the largest increase in the world, and few sectors having more potential to create jobs. In this fast-moving space, of course challenges remain, including the need to unleash even more spectrum for mobile broadband and continuing to promote competition and protect consumers. The Commission will stay focused on these vital goals.”
All that is left is for MetroPCS shareholders to vote on the merger. That vote will take place on the 12th of April. MetroPCS has urged their shareholders to approve the merger. MetroPCS’ largest shareholder, John Paulson does oppose the deal, as he believes T-Mobile is getting the better end of the deal.
The two companies combined will account for more than 40 million subscribers.
MetroPCS customers will need to migrate over to T-Mobile’s GSM network, but not until the end of 2015. As new customers join they will be put onto T-Mobile’s network. Over this year and a half period T-Mobile will get all MetroPCS customers onto GSM devices allowing them to use the acquired CDMA bandwidth for their LTE expansion and considerably boost their pre-paid account holders. At the rate most people go through phones this should be an easy transition without much burden on current MetroPCS customers. Also come the end of 2015 T-Mobile will be offering any stragglers great incentives to switch devices.
Solavei is an affordable contract free mobile service provider has announced the availability of nano SIM cards that are compatible with Apple’s iPhone 5.
Solavei has only been available since September of last year and since launch the company has focused mainly on Android devices. It’s nice to see the company open to Apple as the iPhone 5 is a very popular phone.
“We created Solavei to make commerce less expensive for our members while allowing the flexibility to use the mobile phone they love,” said Ryan Wuerch, founder and CEO of Solavei. “Solavei is the first company to create an economic linkage between mobile service, social commerce, and social sharing. We believe it’s important to give our members great value for unlimited mobile service while using their favorite mobile phone and enable them to earn recurring monthly income for sharing Solavei with their friends and family.”
Solavei runs on the T-Mobile network and T-Mobile is in the process of re-farming their network to allow 3G /4G speeds to the iPhone. In many cases you will only be getting slower EDGE service until this update is completed.
Solavei’s nano SIM card will cost you $9 and for $49 a month you can have unlimited voice, text and data. They also offer a program of referring people to lower your bill and put cash in your pocket.
After just posting what looks like the launch date for the iPhone on T-Mobile we also received word that the BlackBerry Z10 will be available in T-Mobile stores starting March 27. This would keep with T-Mobile wanting to be the first carrier to offer the device.
We are also told that Verizon will launch it the following day, March 28. This all fits perfectly into the block out dates for time off from March 24 through April 5 imposed by T-Mobile on their employees.
We just got a tip from a very reliable source inside T-Mobile to look for the iPhone hitting their network on March 24. This comes along with information about a block out of personal time off between March 24 and April 5. While this is rumor our source is well placed in T-Mobile and has proven accurate in the past.
T-Mobile is launching GoSmart Mobile pre-paid nationwide service starting sometime in February, according to Fierce Wireless. This news comes from people familiar with the matter. T-Mobile ran test of the new plan in select markets last month and the demand for GoSmart was strong enough to warrant a full rollout.
GoSmart Mobile will be available in three different plans starting at $30 per month for unlimited voice and texting, $35 per month for unlimited voice, texting and 2G web service and $45 for unlimited voice, texting and 5 GB (3G high-speed) web service.
T-Mobile right now is offering the Alcatel OT 838 for $49 and a “T-Mobile SIM kit” for $8 that allows customers to use unlocked GSM devices. We will have more details when T-Mobile makes everything official. With T-Mobiles re-farming of their network this could be a great place to take your unlocked iPhone.
The Nexus 4 was first released by T-Mobile last year and the device became so popular that T-Mobile’s stock quickly ran out and the stock hadn’t been replenished until now. If you are in the market for the Nexus 4 on T-Mobile you better act fast before this batch of devices is gone too.
As with all providers T-Mobile is selling the Nexus 4 for $199 with a new two-year contract or if you don’t have an upgrade or would rather not extend your contract you can by the device out right for $599. T-Mobile is currently the only way to get the Nexus 4, if you are interested in the Nexus 4 and would like to check it out here is a link to the device’s page on T-Mobile’s website.
Once again Verizon was the highest ranked mobile carrier in the U.S. but overall their satisfaction rating has dropped. The Consumer Reports survey was based off of voice / data service quality, staff knowledge and issue resolution. These results are based on polls from 63,250 subscribers.
The carriers all maintained their positions from last year with Sprint pulling in second place followed by T-Mobile and then AT&T. AT&T has a reputation of coming in dead last in this annual survey and we don’t see them instituting any changes to improve the scores anytime soon.
While AT&T did leave this satisfaction survey with a black eye, the respondents did give AT&T the highest score for their LTE network surpassing all of Verizon’s claims of biggest and best.
The complete results are available in the January 2013 Consumer Reports magazine or online via this link. (Subscription Required)