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Devices/smartphones

T-Mobile: You, Seven Nights & the Music

T-Mobile revealed it has launched wideband LTE and voice-over-LTE in 15 markets in the US on Wednesday night as the carrier partners with Apple to allow potential customers to test drive their network for seven nights.

"We are absolutely kicking their asses on both fronts, Neville [Ray, CTO] and his team are annihilating the competition," declared T-Mobile CEO John Legere from a Seattle stage on Wednesday. He said that the operator is getting downloads of 147 Mbit/s and 40 Mbit/s up in the wideband markets. (See T-Mobile Pours Cold Water on Sprint's Spark.)

T-Mobile US Inc. VoLTE, meanwhile, now covers 100 million people in the US. (See T-Mobile Beats AT&T, Verizon to VoLTE.)

The uncarrier's latest idea to attract more customers is to partner with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) to let its customers test drive an iPhone 5S for seven days for free. "Cheat on your carrier," Legere suggested.

There's some good reasons for this test drive. "There's a very low awareness in our customer base that we carry Apple products," Legere said. "We will do at least a million test drives in the next year. If we do a lot more, we do a lot more."

"Let me just show you that it's different," Legere continued, suggesting that the operator is not about trying to make money on the test drive but show customers how T-Mobile is different. "Our own customers can test drive too... cheat on us with yourself," he quipped.

Streaming music, meanwhile, will now happen for free on the T-Mobile network with eight of the top music streaming sites included in the offer. T-Mobile is asking customers to vote to suggest sites to include in the offer next.

"Even when you exhaust your high-speed data bucket you will still stream music for free," Legere said. He went on to guarantee this will happen "forever."

The boisterous boss was asked about the potential net neutrality issues of giving away streaming music data for free. "So you actually think that giving away music for free is a net neutrality issue?" asked a somewhat incredulous-sounding Legere.

"Clearly, I'm not going to comment on rumor and speculation," Legere said when asked about Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) merger chatter. "Anything we do will be about the uncarrier revolution and the T-Mobile brand getting bigger."

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

SachinEE 6/24/2014 | 10:26:05 AM
Re- Awesome way of creating awareness The launching of the wideband LTE and voice-over-LTE in 15 markets in the US on Wednesday night to allow their players to test drive their networks for a week is a brilliant idea. I think that testing the drive will be a good opportunity for the company to create awareness among its customers. The fact that streaming music withy the top 8 music streaming sites has been included in the T-Mobile network free of charge is also an awesome deal.
DanJones 6/20/2014 | 7:25:25 PM
Re: Neutrality T-Mobile's talk on that is that it is a mixture of large and small services and users can vote on new services they want included.
KBode 6/19/2014 | 10:53:09 AM
Neutrality "So you actually think that giving away music for free is a net neutrality issue?" asked a somewhat incredulous-sounding Legere.

Well, yes. Depending on how T-Mobile implements it. If only the biggest, most popular music services are exempt from T-Mobile's cap, that gives them an immense leg up over smaller music streaming services. Now if T-Mobile were to find a way to inspect packets and let ALL music through without counting against data allowances that might be something else. It depends how it's all implemented.
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