Share this Story

T-Mobile CEO Wants to Un-Shackle Families From “Those Other Guys,” Get LOUD with 4G LTE

I think we now know for sure what T-Mobile is about to announce next week at CES through their UnCarrier part 4 event. In a Tweet sent out this morning through the official T-Mobile account, an image lists out the company’s 2013 and 2014 resolutions, thanks to it being a new year and all. The 2013 list runs through all of the items they introduced through previous UnCarrier events. The 2014 list includes a bunch of items they will likely try and check off over the coming months. 

Shortly after T-Mobile announced that UnCarrier part 4 was on the horizon, a report surfaced suggesting that the focus would be on helping pay Early Termination Fees (ETF) for family accounts that transfer from other carriers to T-Mobile. Sources of ours have since specifically mentioned that T-Mobile will pay ETF fees up to a $350 credit when you bring over 3 or more lines to help with the cost of switching early. In other words, T-Mobile is willing to try and cross off another “pain point” that keeps you locked onto other carriers. As far as we know, it has to be 3 lines or more and is only $350 per account, not per line. Still, that’s a solid chunk of change to get you off of Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint and onto T-Mobile.

The rest of the list talks about 4G LTE that can “go faster” and “go LOUD.” Tough to tell what that means other than T-Mobile ramping up network capacity with better speeds. “LOUD” could be their new attempt at getting that message across? New marketing campaign?

And last, through his list, CEO John Legere also considers giving AT&T a break before deciding he’s not quite ready. Silly.

We like industry shake-ups. Please, T-Mobile, keep it up.

tmobile unshackle

Via:  @TMobile
  • but t-mobile is saying that the credit is up to $350 per line. http://www.t-mobile.com/offer/switch-carriers-no-early-termination-fee.html#etf

  • interstellarmind

    He is the corporate version of Carl Sagan.

  • Dean Milord

    This is a little upsetting. I hope that anyone who has switched since the Uncarrier movement has started will be considered into this help to switch campain (should this be what they announce). Cause I just took 3 lines from VZW to T-Mobile. And this would’ve been a big help for me. I have to say thoughthat the money I’ve saved so far out weights the network I’ve given up!!!

  • Travis Walls

    My mom used to have T-Mobile. The reception was so bad where they lived, I basically couldn’t call her (no landline). I begged her to sign up for Skype just so I could call her and talk to her. Both AT&T and Verizon had full signal strength at the same location.

    On a side note, I am not blessed with remotely good looks, but that guy is rather scary looking in that pic.

  • interstellarmind

    Rocking a N5 on T-Mo:

    Last time I ran a speedtest, mid November, I got 2-3 Megabytes/ sec down in NYC.

    Last night, as I was showing off my N5 to a friend who has an N4, and since then, I’ve been getting 5 Megabytes/ sec down.

  • r.dangerfield

    so the bad guy from weekend at bernies is now the tmo ceo?!? good for himm!!

  • Brett R

    Go LOUD is referring to “strengthening” the thin layer of LTE we currently have in place as well as some other network features in the works.

  • Prime7

    I just pulled the trigger: bought a Nexus 5 from Google Play. As soon as it arrives, I’m bringing it to T-Mobile, and it’s goodbye, Verizon.

  • “Go LOUD” could refer to their own branding of LTE-Advanced, perhaps, with voice over LTE?

    • bionicwaffle

      Don’t push for VoLTE to quickly…it will kill your talk-time.

  • Diablo81588

    That is one ugly dude.

  • Bruce Wayne

    That guy looks like he’s dying.

  • duke69111

    Just expand your network. We activated a smartphone line on T-Mobile’s $30 plan over Christmas break. Its great in Wichita, but 3-4 miles out, look out. We knew this going in and it worked ok on our trip, getting data in some spots that my Verizon service did not (that surprised me) and vice versa. However we are not dropping one of the $10 voice lines on Verizon due to coverage issues in eastern Kansas.

  • SilentPatriot

    LOUD = something something Unlmited Data

  • Petro Dragoumanos

    I have to wonder how T-Mobile comes up with their ideas for Uncarrier announcements. While not all have been applicable to me, they have all been impressive.

    • hkklife

      Reading forums like this one, at least to an extent. Heck, any of the DL faithful could go into the TMo conference room and give them a massive checklist of what is and isn’t important to people who are fed up with the traditional big 2 carriers.

  • 1TallTXn

    I live a bit south of the DFW metromess in Texas.
    Obviously DFW is going to have good coverage. They’d be stupid to not.
    However, I’m far enough out that I wasn’t sure. So I got a cheap phone and carried it along side my VZW phone for a few weeks.
    What I found amazed me. Where I travel, I have the same or better phone service on Tmobile as I did with VZW. Data was mostly HSPA+, though that’s more than fast enough for me. and a heck of a lot faster than VZW 3G!

    Traveling to Houston for the holidays, I found that most of my trip was in Edge coverage and most of that roaming. Annoying, sure, but over half of that trip was down some small state highways.
    I was rather dissappointed that a good stretch of IH45 was still only Edge. With some random LTE spots showing up as I neared Huntsville.

    Overall, I’m quite willing to make the trade for the over 50% reduction in my bill.

    • akhnaten

      Where I live (in a major metro area), Verizon’s 4G LTE speed is usually around 0.5 – 1 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up. T-mobile’s HSPA+ is around 12 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up. I will be switching when my contract is up. Unfortunately, I only have 2 lines too.

  • schoat333

    Damn, I have two lines.

  • Brian Neff

    Who holds a Sharpie like that?!

    • moelsen8

      john muthaf*ckin’ legere, that’s who

    • hfoster52

      My 2 year old holds it better.

    • Batman

      It’s funny, he’s actually holding it like a lot of left handed people hold a writing implement. John Legere plays by no man’s rules but his own.

    • Conner

      Have you ever written on a black or whiteboard? Writing on a wall requires a different method for me at least.

    • Naveen Thomas

      It’s the “Uncarrier” approach

  • moelsen8

    Can they put “build some more towers” on one of these lists?

    • Liderc

      No kidding, they aren’t even close to other companies. They’re all noise, no real world use.

      • Skittlez

        thats not true. awesome service down here in south florida

        • KingofPing

          Same here in MN…all depends on where you live, I suppose.

          • Josh Rahn

            MN… Around the metro, service is AWESOME!!! go north a little bit and nothing.
            I have service with them for my N7 and i’m waiting on the day they put up a tower or two so i can just ship with my phone.

          • KingofPing

            How far north are you talking? BP, Brooklyn Center, and Plymouth (VZW dead zone, at least where I go through) all have LTE.

            I admit it’s been a while since I hit st cloud though…

          • Josh Rahn

            Let me restate that, past st. cloud. I go up to the Alexandria area. Signal is good to cloud. Nothing past that.
            T-mobile just can’t touch the service of Verizon right now outside of the metro. I seem to have 4G everywhere and good reception.

      • MicroNix

        Why do you think they are so cheap? You get what you pay for.

    • Mike Hilal

      This is the main reason keeping me from going to TMO or ATT

      • Liderc

        Obviously it’s based on what city you’re in, but I’m not in a major city and I switched from Verizon to AT&T and I actually have faster speeds on LTE now and haven’t noticed a drop in coverage. I did switch from the Galaxy Nexus to the Nexus 5, so the vastly improved radios may also be helping me.

        • moelsen8

          yeah i went from verizon to ST at&t a year ago and it was completely seamless.

          • Liderc

            Yeah I’m on Straight Talk AT&T as well, can’t beat it.

        • Mike Hilal

          AT&T is fine where my home is, and their LTE is about the same as verizon’s now that it’s saturated. The issue is that I travel and am in remote areas more often than not. My co-workers with AT&T are stuck on edge while I’m on LTE (this was with my Gnex and my Note 3)…until that’s no longer the case, I’ll be on big red. That (and unlimited) are the only things holding me here.

          • Liderc

            I understand. I drove 5 hours to another city to see an NFL game recently and was excited to test out my LTE coverage and I only lost it a couple times in very small towns, other than that it was better than my Gnex on Verizon in every area. But like I said, that may also be because I was used to my Galaxy Nexus’ poor radios.

          • Mike Hilal

            Elkhart Lake (WI), Lakeville (CT), Salinas (CA), Lexington (OH) were all places that I had LTE where everyone not on verizon was struggling for just signal. My Gnex had no radio issues (i think I was lucky), and was going strong in all those cities.

        • duke69111

          Yea, the radios in my G2 destroy my g nexus. Much better.

  • Metal_Link

    Wait, where’s my family?

  • chris125

    They should focus more on their coverage, and then people would come. Love what they are doing but the lack of coverage outside of major cities is a deal breaker, even if they pay all of my 4 lines ETF’s.

    • Ruel Smith

      Amen! If it wasn’t for the coverage, I’d have let go of Verizon a long time ago…

      • chris125

        Agree. Coverage is the reason 99% of people stay with verizon, and they know it which is why they can do what they want with plans and prices. Because it is a phone first and foremost, so no matter how great the phone is, if you have no service it is worthless.

        • Would have to agree with you guys. While my T-Mo coverage in Portland is good for the most part, far too often am I without service. I still use it because I like their approach and pricing, but I often times reach for my Verizon phone just in case.

          • Big_EZ

            If (when) Verizon kicks us off unlimited data plans I’ll probably switch to T-Mobile and get a cheap pre-paid feature phone on Verizon for this reason. It would still be much cheaper than my current Verizon plan.

          • akhnaten

            I plan on switching to T-mobile, keep a prepaid Verizon phone (moto g?), and use google voice to ring both on incoming calls.

          • Larizard

            I need to do that.. I have my old GNEx still on VZW but with unlimited data, but my daily driver now is a Nexus5 on T-Mo.. was wondering how I can forward calls and texts from my old Gnex number to my T-mo one…

          • akhnaten

            Be careful how you do that. When you port your VZW number to Google Voice, VZW may want to cancel your account. I would recommend talking to them first.

    • Willie D

      I believe that this is what part of this announcement is about. They are in the process of deploying a faster LTE network by aggregating spectrum in major cities, but remember T-Mobile holds quite a bit of PCS spectrum as well, so moving a lot of capacity to this, while freeing up the AWS spectrum that they ironically have national licenses for, will help them to deploy not only LTE-A in many areas that formerly had no T-Mobile coverage at all, in a more stable way, but also this will only happen once they do VoLTE, as they will save costs and deploy LTE on the national license to cover more people.
      They also are in the final steps to acquire Verizon’s 700Mhz Block A spectrum which should cover many more areas than they currently serve, giving them a little more of an edge over what they currently have in play. It also starts to push manufactures to make cross LTE devices that work on more than one network. This could be great.

      • chris125

        And i think most would be happy with just having 3g in those non coverage areas. The higher spectrum that they use isn’t as good as the lower spectrum, which hopefully if they get that from verizon that will help some.


    Until they get a decent network it’s just wishful thinking for me. I’d love T-Mo, but I can’t use it at home. I wish their network was good enough to pressure other networks to do the same things.

    • sirmeili

      I am the same way. I just tried them but I can’t get service in my house and outside my house I only get edge, which is painfully slow. I don’t really need LTE, but 3g would be nice. I’m using StraightTalk AT&T right now and it’s working wonderfully. I would still rather support T-Mobile, but I can’t give them money every month and not get service 🙁

      • ERIFNOMI

        I’d love to back T-Mo as well. There actually aren’t even T-Mobile stores anywhere around here, that’s how lacking their service is. I can’t even think of any T-Mobike stores at school either but I know they do cover the campus and uptown.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Lol Love how he keeps sticking it to At&t

    • sirmeili

      He can stick it to AT&T as much as he likes. Until he can get me the same level of service that AT&T* gives me, I won’t be switching permanently to T-Mobile. And understand that I would much rather go to T-Mobile, but no service in my house and Edge outside is not acceptable even for the $30/month plan.

      *I use AT&T through StraightTalk

  • epps720

    Really love what T-Mo is doing. All they need now, is a good network!!

    • Thomas

      Well said. Until their coverage gets better this guy is just blowing a lot of hot air.

      • James

        Really just depends where you live. My local GSM carrier in wyo uses mostly t-mobile and it is fantastic coverage. Love it.

        • Scott Smith

          Absolutely agree. You need to check the areas where you live and primarily will be using your phone. I just switched from Verizon to T-mo and my coverage has greatly improved. I could never get a 4G signal in my home or office, and now with T-mobile I get it in both. I wish I would have made the jump sooner, as I’m now getting better coverage at a fraction of the cost. Everyone’s situation will differ, but don’t just assume T-Mobile’s coverage will be worse.

        • MicroNix

          I think it not only matters where you live but also if you travel at all. And by travel I mean travel outside that metro area to anywhere else.

          • therealciviczc

            Exactly. I’m about to switch from VZ to TM. I’ve already switched my daughter. Her coverage is great where we live. She actually gets quicker downloads than me, although uploads are slower. That said, as soon as we travel, the differences are glaring. About an hour out of town she has 2g if she’s lucky, then nothing for much of the trip, except when we are near a metro area. On VZ, I have 4g much of the time, and never anything less than strong 3g. Verizon is awful on many levels, but their coverage is great.

          • James

            I am a delivery man for all of central wyoming, so i travel tons, and again, great coverage 🙂

        • meijin3

          In Southern Maryland I’m getting significantly faster speeds than my family who is on Verizon. T-Mo LTE rocks!

      • JRomeo

        I get around 35 to 40Mbps download on Tmobile LTE network. For many people around the country, their coverage is already sufficient. I do however admit, they still have coverage gaps they need to take care of.

    • MichaelFranz

      thats really it, short of heavily populated metro areas you get nothing. I need a bigger coverage map if they want my undivided attention….right now they have just my attention 🙂

      • capecodcarl

        Well, as someone that lives in a heavily populated metro area I’m really satisfied with their network. Their LTE network is much faster than Verizon’s overloaded network where I live.

        • MichaelFranz

          exactly, i know many people in NYC who use tmobile and lov it becaus eof the cheap price and all other goodies. but just anything an hour or so north of manhattan and its very spotty. its workable but not when you have verizon everywhere you go up here.

          • Krumm

            It’s even spotty in areas of NYC. I live in Brooklyn and T-Mobile’s downstream data speed tops out at about 0.5 Mbps in my neighborhood. I’d rather pay more for service, knowing that I’ll have stable coverage.

        • Willie D

          T-Mobile went from having a decent GSM network in the SF Bay Area based on the Cingular/T-Mobile GSM Facilities agreement, to having a crap EDGE network while other carriers blew them out of the water. For a while, Sprint had the best network in my area and even guaranteed it for a year. AT&T had issues, Verizon was only talking about “rule the air” for a while, and then all of a sudden T-Mobile starts with their 3G and it is faster than all them, then they waited, and while everyone else started their LTE networks, T-Mobile sat tight another year, and waited. The wait was worth it. Within 6 months, I have LTE in 95% of the places I go to in SF, including the BART tunnels and stations, something that I still dont get on my Sprint contract line after waiting for 3 years. In the last 14 months, Sprint still has not officially launched LTE, and what little they have, in fact, does not actually connect to a data signal, it only connects to a tower but from there, nothing. AT&T blows Sprint out of the water with speed, coverage and even price for value. Verizon is slow to a crawl here now just like Sprint on 3G. T-Mobile really is the only one that actually is not only competing on price, speed, and plans, but also on coverage. Deploying at least 3x faster than any other carrier, they have majority of the same area covered as the duopoly. That says a lot about a company that knows and values their metro and urban customers – this is where the money is – give us the speed, coverage, and reliability we need, rather than deploy in podunk towns like Sprint has been doing, and from my reading, rather poorly as majority of customers in small villages where Sprint has deployed are seeing Pre-2009 3G like speeds (2mbps max) over LTE in those cities, proof Sprint has faulty LTE deployment. Who wants poor data and connections while in the middle of nowhere? Id rather have where I am covered, than pay a premium for coverage in small towns I never go.

        • TheDrunkenClam

          Care to mention where that is?

          I live in DC. Can anyone provide feedback as to how well Tmobile performs in the DMV?

          • capecodcarl

            It’s a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. Sure, it’s not New York or Chicago, but it is big enough to have decent T-Mobile LTE coverage. 🙂

          • asldfhaasghdjklb

            Its really good in DC and the suburbs, but I do get edge a lot traveling to the eastern shore (along the way, great LTE in ocean city, Bethany, and Rehoboth) or even up to New York. Finally, T mobile has better coverage outside than Verizon in my experience, but their signals don’t penetrate buildings as well.

      • KingofPing

        As someone who lives in a farm town and travels in and around my entire state constantly, I think you may be over-generalizing.

        I get LTE in my hometown. I get LTE 40 miles south of the metro where I work. I get LTE in the “racetrack” town in between the two. I get HSPA+ at my Dad’s (a VZW deadzone), and LTE at my Mom’s.

        I rarely in my travels drop below HSPA+.

        I cannot believe Minnesota is that much more “built up” than the rest of the country.

        • MichaelFranz

          it really is one of those things that is hit or miss. For instance my gf had tmo, lived in bronx/NYC all her life. moved 1hr 1/2 upstate with me, and her service went to hell. This was as they just started LTE. In our apt. she got very little coverage indoors and had to go out to get even a bar or 2 of 3g. with VZW we have 2-3 bars LTE inside. Again it really is just a case of them needing to beef up the coverage area and that will further attract more people. I really do like what they are doing and i think its great.

          • KingofPing

            I get one bar, maybe two most places. I can make and receive calls, quality is *great*, and my data speeds are in-line with what I was getting from VZW in most places (far better in one).

            The bars don’t seem to mean squat in my experience. (Especially after all the stories of carriers “fluffing” them…)

            Hit or miss I can understand, but heck..I work in a factory surrounded by concrete and extremely large machines. I get LTE.

            Maybe it’s just drywall the signal can’t get through?

            Not saying I wouldn’t mind them beefing up the coverage. Certainly can’t hurt; but at the very least, for this one person here in Minnesota…it ain’t as big of a problem as everyone is telling me. (of course I will be the first to tell you, anecdotal evidence, even from multiple sources, does not equal data….so my experiences are definitely the “grain of salt” variety.)

        • anna willoughby

          I love T-Mobile, and down here in the midwest, especially in the Ohio Valley, it’s as good as anything else. Heading toward the East Coast, especially in the less populated areas, it’s a dead zone. That said, Verizon is about the only thing in that area. It really just depends on where you are, as many people have stated. If you want complete coverage coast to coast, the only way to do it is with an amplifier, roaming, or a couple burners regardless of which carrier you sign onto. Otherwise, it’s about what works in your home town and the places you frequent.

        • Mike

          I live in a city of more than a million. My house is less than a mile form the metro area’s two largest shopping centers, and the neighborhood was built out in the early 60’s. I live smack dab in the middle of the city and in my driveway (not in my house mind you) I have 0-1 bars of T-Mobile coverage as of 30 days ago when I went off-contract and tried both Net10 and T-Mobile. I have 5 bars of LTE on AT&T and 1-2 bars of LTE on Verizon and dropped calls on T-Mobile in my house. This is a major metro area that T-Mobile shows as well-covered in their maps.

          • KingofPing

            See my previous reply re: bars…

          • Mike

            Right, it seems good in my driveway, but drop calls in my house while I get 5 bars of AT&T in my house.

            At work, it was a similar story, 2 bars of T-Mobile and 5 bars of AT&T. With my N5 on T-Mobile, my daily battery life was about 25% less due to the cellphone having to transmit more power to close up the link. With a T-Mobile SIM in, I was always begging for a charge by the end of the work day, while with the AT&T SIM I was always fine to make it through the day.

            I really wanted T-Mobile to work, but right now it’s just not that great in the middle of this major population center that they show as very well covered.

          • KingofPing

            Well I guess that sucks then. Never said it was perfect everywhere…just that the OP was a bit over-generalizing. Just like when I claim it’s great outside of the metro in my area doesn’t mean it’s going to be so for everyone, neither does his claim of the opposite…or yours.

            We fall where we fall and some of us are apparently luckier than others.

          • MicroNix

            See Mike’s message re: dropped calls

        • MicroNix

          I live 10 minutes outside a metro area and the map shows 2G for my home. If its that bad 10 minutes out, I hate to see what its like in the country!

          • KingofPing

            Ouch. That sucks.

    • I think every single first comment on this post said the same thing. Yo, T-Mobile, here you go!

      And people wondered why I wrote this piece after UnCarrier part 1: http://www.droid-life.com/2013/03/26/t-mobiles-un-carrier-approach-sounds-awesome-but-killing-contracts-shouldnt-be-their-message-opinion/

      • epps720

        I know right, it’s a pretty complicated concept

      • moelsen8

        i never wondered that! i really wanted to like them, and tried them for a month at least two separate times. i was prepared to have edge or no data at all in some places i go to infrequently.. would be nice to be off the grid once in a while probably. but to not even have voice coverage in places where i spend the weekend every month or two, where at&t and verizon both have great coverage, that’s crazy.

        • jnt

          Same boat here. Tmo is great in my main area (DFW), but when I travel 2 hours east to visit family, their map says I should have Edge, but I have zero coverage – no voice, no nothing. That ain’t going to work I’m afraid.

          • michael arazan

            All over IL and MO says they are supposed to have coverage and never do when my family had coverage. I just leave the major highway by a mile and no coverage, unless I’m in a town with a large populous. And even then once you leave the town by a half mile it drops off.

            After all these years, why hasn’t T-Mo put up more antennas anywhere? The same dead spots are still dead spots for the past 10 years here. I don’t think they want to expand coverage at all.

          • Poison

            I live in St.Louis, and the only reliable carriers are AT&T and VZW. T-Mobile is too unreliable around these parts even though their coverage maps indicates service. Too spotty for my liking.

    • Fresh360

      I was under the illusion that T-Mobile had terrible coverage until I ran a speed test on a friends phone and they were getting 29.5Mbps in my house with T-Mobile and Verizon was only pulling 5Mbps (YES 5!)…I cant say I was shocked T-Mobile smashes VZW in the city but they are known for their metro coverage and I was giving Verizon the benefit of the doubt because I thought maybe capacity was to blame but I live in the burbs and capacity and coverage should have favored Verizon but boy was I wrong.

      Grab a free SIM from T-Mobile and give it a try in your area you may be in for a pleasant surprise I damn sure was.

      • epps720

        It’s definitely dependent on where you live. I know of several people who had T-mobile service in Northern NJ where I live and had to cancel their service b/c it was so bad.

    • nickyb

      This is absolutely vital. I tried to switch to T-mobile and couldn’t do it because I live in a rural area and there is not even 3g. Although I commute to the city every day and the majority of my time off Wifi I will have LTE. I could not give up 30-50MB download in my rural home area. Come on T-mobile fix it and i will pay the earl term fees.

    • r0l

      I would assume they need to give the people within coverage reason to move first, then they’ll have the additional revenue to invest in infrastructure.