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T-Mobile Uncarrier 5.0 – Test Drive Phones and Service Free for 7 Days, Wideband and VoLTE to More Markets

During T-Mobile’s newest Uncarrier event, titled 5.0, the company is making its latest, potentially industry-changing moves that start by offering customers a 7-day free test drive of their network with an iPhone 5s. They also announced that their Wideband LTE is now in 16 markets and VoLTE is in 15 total (here is the full list). 

The Test Drive kicks off June 23. The basics are this – you cruise over to T-Mobile.com/testdrive and sign-up. Within a few days, customers receive an iPhone 5s that is “fully loaded and ready to go.” After seven days of testing, that customer can then drop the phone off at a store and walk away with “absolutely no money down” and “no obligation” or “strings attached.”

As far as their LTE network goes, T-Mo’s Wideband LTE is now in 16 total markets, bringing a speed boost with peak speeds up to 150Mbps. VoLTE (voice-over-LTE) is also moving into new markets, bringing the total to 15, which means HD voice calls over data.

Update:  T-Mobile went a step further by announcing Uncarrier 6.0, which is music freedom or data streaming that doesn’t count against your data plan. Read all about it here.

T-Mobile Transforms the Way Americans Buy Wireless … Again

T-Mobile Test Drive offers every American an iPhone 5s with unlimited service on T-Mobile’s network for a full seven days – completely free.

As the Un-carrier puts its network’s data muscle on show, T-Mobile expands Wideband LTE to 16 total markets and VoLTE technology to 15 total markets reaching over 100 million people

SEATTLE, WA, June 18, 2014 – In another of its signature moves, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) today introduced “T-Mobile Test Drive” and pioneered a new way to buy wireless in this country. With T-Mobile Test Drive, people can receive an iPhone 5s and unlimited nationwide service to take T-Mobile’s network for a data-intensive, seven-day spin at no cost whatsoever.

The new initiative puts T-Mobile’s data-strong network in the spotlight, as the Un-carrier rolls out yet another major network expansion ahead of the competition.

No More “Buying Blind”
The Un-carrier’s latest initiative takes aim at the painful process of buying wireless in America today. People must decide on a wireless provider without knowing how the network will really work for them – where they live, go to school, work, and play. As a result, the U.S. wireless industry has one of the highest “remorse rates” of any out there. Nearly half (46%) of wireless customers say they’ve signed up with a carrier and then wanted to leave, and one in 10 have actually left within the first 30 days of making a switch.1 It’s a pain point ripe for an Un-carrier solution.

“The way this industry forces Americans to buy wireless is completely, utterly broken. I’m here to tell you there’s a better way,” declared John Legere, T-Mobile CEO and President. “While the carriers ask you to buy blind, the Un-carrier gives you transparency. Our network kicks ass, and now people can experience for themselves what a data-strong network can do with T-Mobile Test Drive.”

Starting this Monday, June 23, people can sign up for T-Mobile Test Drive at www.t-mobile.com/testdrive. A few days later, they’ll receive an iPhone 5s fully loaded and ready to go, and they can put T-Mobile’s data-strong network to the test for seven full days on the “most forward-thinking” smartphone. After the test drive, just drop it off at any T-Mobile store. That’s it. Absolutely no money down. No obligation. No strings attached.

T-Mobile Test Drive is a first-of-its-kind nationwide initiative from a major carrier that the Un-carrier is rolling out at scale. During the first year of the program alone, T-Mobile expects at least one million people to take a test drive.

Network Designed Data-Strong
T-Mobile Test Drive marks a new campaign to let consumers experience first-hand how the Un-carrier’s network is different, even as the company today announced two massive network expansions. T-Mobile has expanded Wideband LTE into 16 total markets, giving all T-Mobile LTE devices a speed boost with capable peak network download speeds up to nearly150 Mbps – that comes out to a 90-minute HD movie download in under three minutes or an 11-song music album in seven seconds.

Building on its data DNA, the Un-carrier also expanded Voice over LTE (VoLTE) to more than 100 million people in 15 total markets. T-Mobile was the first major provider to launch VoLTE, and now, because its network has been designed for data, is nearly doubling the amount of data dedicated to voice calls for highest fidelity, crystal-clear HD Voice and faster call setup times than ever before. The Un-carrier expects to deploy VoLTE nationwide by the end of the year.

“The old telecoms designed their networks for a time when your phone’s only app was a phone call—and they haven’t shaken that dial-tone mind-set,” said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile. “Our 4G LTE network was built in the last year and a half, so naturally we built it differently. We built it for the way people use smartphones and tablets today, and we built it with a mobile Internet architecture, so we could roll out new technologies faster.”

Now, as mobile broadband usage skyrockets, Un-carrier customers are reaping the rewards of a network designed to be data-strong and concentrated where people use data the most – unlike older carrier networks built by phone company utilities. T-Mobile customers are using more wireless data on average than the major national carrier customers – 61% more than Sprint, 69% more than Verizon, and 100% more than AT&T. T-Mobile customers also have more network capacity per customer than with any other major national wireless company, a full 70% more network spectrum per customer than Verizon, and they’re streaming, tweeting, using FaceTime and more at lightening speeds on America’s fastest nationwide 4G LTE network.

“We’re a mobile Internet company competing against utilities, so it’s no wonder we’re faster than they are,” added Legere. “We’re out there doing it while the other guys are still scheduling a meeting to talk about doing it. And, there’s one more thing you can bank on. We won’t stop.”

Learn more about T-Mobile’s network expansion and data-strong network design in this blog post. For more information on iPhone, please visit www.apple.com/iphone. For more information about T-Mobile Test Drive, visit t-mobile.com/testdrive or the T-Mobile Newsroom.

  • Tristan the Marine

    I’ve been wishing for a carrier trial period for years.

  • Guest

    I don’t think it’s going to be long before they add Google Music…check this out…

  • needa

    it is almost like they read my comments. signal strength gets worse and worse at my mother’s house as it warms up. considering its in the 90s this week, and next week, and the week after that… now seems to be a great time for t-mo to offer this. the only problem is i have been trying to get her off of apple for a year now. if i were to bring the newest one up to her…

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  • Higher_Ground

    So this is a helluva a strategy. They are pretty much putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to proving whether or not you can live with their coverage. I’m generally too lazy to try anything new if I can help it, but this is the kind of marketing I can get down with. Not looking to switch from Verizon right now, but if I’m ever pushed too far this will certainly make it easier to shop around.

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  • I’d try the test drive if I didn’t have to use an iPhone :/

    • flosserelli

      If you have a phone that uses nano sim card, just take the sim card out of the iPhone 5s and use it.

    • hi

      You’re testing the network not the phone.

  • Jprime

    I am definitely doing this. Been dying to know if I’m good now in NJ.

  • I had T-Mobile a few weeks ago when I first moved to San Francisco and I had trouble getting good reception inside. Outside it was great and I had LTE everywhere but inside I went straight to Edge. Curious now that VoLTE is available in the area if it would help at all.

  • CaptainHowdy13

    The iPhone makes sense. My girlfriend has a 5s and I a N5. She always has better signal then me and we’re on T-Mo

    • Kirito

      Well the N5 still have signal issues, and it got worse once 4.4.3 came along at least for me. I regretted not getting the Moto X despite its flaws 🙁

  • Ryan Chapman

    I have been wanting to switch to T-mobile and get the LG G3 but the wife has been hesitant…I guess this will fix that one way or another… Well Done Tmobile. Please don’t merge with Sprint.

  • Ronald Bernard

    Just wanna say I so called this. Maybe not the exact details but the general premise. I am genius. Lol

  • DroidFan

    T-Mobile: Going bankrupt never looked so good.

  • mcdonsco

    While I can, and do, appreciate the whole test drive thing; what I would appreciate more is a significant improvement in their high speed data network coverage areas.

    Fix that, and I’ll switch from red to magenta.

  • hoosiercub88

    Shame it’s all EDGE around me for many, many miles.

  • Matt G

    Planning on getting this and using it as a music player in the car. Free Data, Free Music, for a full week works for me

    • mcdonsco

      Is the time (your time) it takes for you to get it, set it up etc, then return it “free”?.

      Might want to check your math there.

      • Matt G

        Let’s see I sign up they deliver it to me… Then when I’m done bring it back. Doesn’t seem like much of hastle to find out if I want to switch carriers

        • mcdonsco

          You do realize that IS NOT what you said that I was responding to right?

          Might want to re-read your post.

  • Cody

    This rocks. I’ve been wanting to leave Big Red for a while but that’s easier said than done.

  • Chris Lockard

    Only down fall of this is it’s an iPhone

    • flosserelli

      You can’t bear to use an iPhone for 7 days? Seriously? You get to keep your existing phone and carrier, you know.
      If you can’t use a FREE iPhone 5s to make a few calls, surf the net and download some free apps & games for a week, then you have bigger problems.

  • If I test T-Mobile I need to be able to travel to at least Miami, LA, Vancouver, Phoenix, Saint Louis and a couple other places and still have atleast 95% service. And I can’t do that all in 7 days. The “works in your area” thing isn’t good enough

    • Ryan Chapman

      Man people have to bitch about everything don’t they.

      • I’m sorry that you and the 6 people that liked your comment have never had a chance to leave your front yard and having service “just in your area” is ok. But for the majority of/normal Americans that like to get out and actually live service just in our area is not ok. Which is why T-Mobile is not an option and we have the right to complain. Thank you very much.

        • Ryan Chapman

          Such an angry little man. Do you notice that the more you talk the less people like you?
          PS I own a business that is mobile and I constantly travel, so get off your soapbox.

          • Not angry I’m actually a very happy person. And some prick or pricks on the internet not liking me because he/they are butthurt over a Tmobile comment (which happens to be my opinion BTW) is the least of my concerns. I’m sorry that you’re such a T-Mobile cheerleader that I ruffled your skirt and got your panties in a bunch but ummm I don’t like T-Mobile. Now go cry in your moms boob. I’m only concerned about a hand full of people liking me and that’s my family, coworkers, friends, and the guy that writes my paycheck (you were not included) And I don’t care what you own or supposedly own since this is the internet, how about you get off that T-Mobile dong you’re sitting on and respect my right to an opinion.

          • Ryan Chapman

            You’re still here?? When I close my eyes and envision you typing I see a younger (and pudgier) Glenn Beck screaming that he needs his baba.

            PS- I have Verizon
            PSS – Us Prick(S) don’t dislike you, we don’t care enough to have a opinion either way.
            PSSS – If anyone is butthurt it’s probably your mother (I Hear she is into that kind of thing.)
            PSSSS – It’s hard to respect your opinion about T-Mobile when you don’t respect my opinion about you as a person.

          • You don’t care enough to have an opinion BUT 1. you keep commenting (you must care about something to keep coming back) 2. Your last PSSSS claims I don’t respect “your opinion” about me as a person. Yea you’re an idiot. Fortunately for you I don’t care to imagine what a dude looks like has he types must be some undercover fantasy of yours (imagining guys typing on a computers) and that’s fine if my moms butt hurt most women are. Unfortunately in this case you’re the butt hurt guy with the T-Mobile dong crammed in his cavities. Now knock it off fruitcake and go find another hobby. I don’t know why I keep entertaining idiots like you I said I’d stop. I don’t want to give you anything to fantasize about like my big hands rapidly gliding across the screen of my S4. Have fun!!!

          • Ryan Chapman

            Dear Intellectua1,

            1. I come back because its fun to watch you type and spew verbage.
            2. You don’t imagine? and when you do it has sexual undertones? You might want to seek therapy
            3. If you are trying to insult me, you probably shouldn’t do it through homophobic gay references, I love gay people and find it a complement you put me in the same category as them.
            4. You likely have big hands because you come from a family that practices inbreeding.

  • AMTrombley89

    Seriously…I’m probably gonna do this test drive thing… I’ll put up with no apps for a week just to finally see if the service is good where I’m at.

    • jimt

      Take your verizon phone also to compare that is the point.

  • coolsilver

    I can test already with my tablet…. What’s it say? 2G

  • Carson

    Can the iPhone 5s take advantage of the VoLTE?

  • chris125

    It’s to test the network and coverage people, not the phones….

  • ryan savini

    What if you got the iPhone, took out the Sim and put it in an android device for those 7 days?

    • schoat333

      yep. That’s exactly what people should do.

      • flosserelli

        That’s what savvy people will do.

    • XvierX

      The opportunism is strong with this one… Myesss

    • gc0127

      If they don’t have tmobile though the sim card won’t work on the phone unless it’s unlocked. They don’t reccomend to to that though because most unlocked phones data speed won’t be 100% accurate since the sim is most compatable with the tmobile phone itself. The percentage of people who have an unlocked GSM phone laying around is minuscule so they said “hey why not just ship them one of the best phones on the market” If you have a unlocked GSM phone, then go for it.

    • gc0127

      Also if you do this it will have to be the phone you are not currently using as your primary phone. This is going to be a data only SIM card, there is no phone number or outbound calls available with this Iphone they are gearing it towards just showing customers how good Tmobiles DATA coverage and speed is because it is the issue that most people are concerned with before switching.

  • Ray

    I wonder how much data I can run threw in 7 days on t-mobile just for the hell of it lol

  • King of Nynex

    Did T-Mobile announce that they have blanket coverage from Brooklyn to my parents’ house upstate? No? Guess I’ll stay put.

  • Jeff Helget

    John Legere is my favorite irreverent CEO.

  • Alec

    T-Mobile changing the game once again.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    I think people are confused about the “testing” part. You’re not testing PHONES you’re testing the Network. So they don’t need to allow you option of different phones. It’s either the service is great in your area or not.

    • Ray

      great point they could send you 2 cups and a piece of string, if it works good in your area your good to go.

    • tu3218

      I agree, people gotta remember that you’re testing the network. However, they should have offered the iphone plus one android phone. Ideally the S5 considering it’s the most popular and known android phone.

      • Justin W

        They mentioned in the Q&A their reasoning for only offering the 5S – it’s due to low market penetration on T-Mobile compared to other carriers, so they (Apple and T-Mobile) are doing this to help increase awareness that they carry the iOS device.

        • ki11ak3nn

          But people shouldn’t be buying iOS devices. People should be buying Android devices. Android is obviously the superior OS. My friend Anthony is going to do this trial, but he’s going to be using a Nexus 5 instead of the iPhone. Hopefully I can get him to switch from Verizon to T-Mobile.

    • zurginator

      But they (and the other 3) had a 14-day test run where you could use any phone you wanted a year ago…

  • droidrazredge

    I am definitely going to jump on this and test drive the new LG and HTC phones!

    • K

      Only limited to the iPhone…for now at least

    • Ray

      Reading isn’t your strong point is it?

    • iPhone 5s only for now.

  • What if I want to test drive an android phone?……..

    • flosserelli

      If you have a T-Mobile compatible phone, take the nano sim out of the free iPhone and pop it into your own phone.

  • antwonw

    When will you be able to test drive Android phones?

    • android is for people that can’t afford iphones. that would not be a sexy option for customers.

      • Ray

        I don’t know if your serious or not? popcorn

      • philnolan3d

        Android is for people that like quality and choices.

        • antwonw

          Amen brother.

      • antwonw

        Someone’s a rich prick!

      • mcdonsco

        On an android site? Gotta be sarcasm, right?

  • Damian

    So I can’t test drive with a G3?? Damn!!

  • K

    John Legere cussing on stage…I love this guy!

    • K

      This is for us Verizon customers 🙂

      • philnolan3d

        This is why I left Verizon for TMob

        • ki11ak3nn

          Same here. Speed and Coverage here in Seattle is better than Verizon. Love it.

      • He can talk all he wants, but T-Mobile is no match for Verizon’s coverage or LTE speeds.

        • mcdonsco

          I can care less about speed as I suspect is the case with a lot of others (as long as were talking 10mb/5mb, beyond that I dont care), what needs improvement is the data COVERAGE AREAS.

          Fix that and I’m there.

          • michael arazan

            Every dead spot in MO and IL I frequent have been dead spots for the past 12 years with T-MO and they never expanded. It would take a lot for me to ever go back to T-Mo for the crap they pulled on me.

        • or you could you with the trut

          Tmo is kicking vzw’s ass in speeds here in Minneapolis.

          • When was the last time you tested Verizon? Only a few months ago they started to deploy XLTE over AWS in many cities, and increased backhaul. With T-Mobile I generally get 10-35Mbps on LTE, but with Verizon I usually get 20-50Mbps. Of course I also get these speeds in the middle of nowhere, with T-Mobile (if you get coverage), it’s all 2G.

          • Iluvtmo

            By mid 2015, all 2g will be 4g.

          • That’s over a year from now. There’s no excuse for having GPRS and EDGE in 2014.

          • spider

            Yea, but i believe where tmobile wins is practicality. Verizon is to freekin high, and they lock you in. For most near or in metro cities we get LTE speeds. Plus, who needs 50mb download to check my bank account.

          • pyro74boy .

            I sure hope so because 2G is so bad and not even useable

          • schoat333

            I have had T-mobile for three months, and the only time I was on edge was in a remote camping spot. The real funny thing was my VZW family members had no signal at all.

            Sure, the T-mobile network does not cover a lot of the remote areas with LTE, but I wouldn’t have gone to T-Mobile if I spend a lot of my time in those areas. If you live in the city, or suburbs, their network is all LTE, and faster than VZW or ATT.

          • pyro74boy .

            Trust me you have been lucky enough not to have you been throttled over T-mobile’s network because I was and it pissed me off. I’m still lucky enough to have my unlimited data plan with Verizon and I already have used over 12GB with no throttling whatsoever. And trust me 2G sucks and is so slow that it’s just useless.

          • You’re only throttled if you don’t use the fully unlimited plan.

          • pyro74boy .

            It has to do more with where you are and how many people are using the network at the same exact time. I get decent data speeds over LTE where I live and then like 5 or 10 miles down the road I have gotten over 50MBPS both up and down on Verizon’s network and I’m not even using their lighting fast XLTE aws spectrum. So really all miss leading information put aside the fastest network really depends more upon where you are because the answer will never be the same. All data can lag depending on where you live so there really is no true fastest network.

        • flosserelli

          It depends on where you are. In my area, T-Mobile LTE destroys Verizon LTE. In fact, T-Mobile HSPA+ is as fast as Verizon LTE.

          • It does depend on the area, but even in NYC where last year Verizon was horrible, it’s easy to get 50-100Mbps+ now due to AWS.

        • creed

          I’m lucky to get 10 mbs download speeds on Verizon. 5 is my average.

        • Android_09

          don’t forget coverage and overall reliability.

        • Mitch Joa

          TMo’s LTE speed nearly triples Verizon’s LTE speed here in Detroit.

      • flosserelli

        Strong words, yet nothing is more true.

  • philnolan3d

    So apple paid T-Mobile a ton of money to push their phone. That’s what I’m getting from this.

    • Brandon Miller

      Yup, I’m a little disappointed at that. Would have been nice to test any phone for 7 days. That would have been amazing.

      • philnolan3d

        Or at least whatever phone people are most likely to buy.

        • anezarati

          whatever phone people are most likely to buy…aka…an iphone

          • philnolan3d

            Why on earth would you think people are most likely to buy an iphone when only a tiny percentage of people use them?

          • EdubE24

            Isn’t it the biggest selling phone in America?

          • philnolan3d

            I don’t think it’s even close. Not for a long time.
            Ah, here we are. apple 41%, Android 52 https://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press_Releases/2014/4/comScore_Reports_February_2014_US_Smartphone_Subscriber_Market_Share

          • EdubE24

            So a few models of the iPhone compared to dozens of Android phones. Come on man, this is simple math. No one Android phone outsells the iPhone 5s in America.

          • Justin W

            I’m pretty sure you’re comparing several generations of iOS devices (note that that’s one, or recently two devices per year) to generations of hundreds of Android devices.

      • Higher_Ground

        yeah, but I can see why they might not want to lend out a phone they aren’t 100% sure will have decent reception. Not saying the iphone has the best reception – just that it’s a consistent metric for people to try out their network.

      • gc0127

        Brandon, its not about the phones. AT ALL. a sales person can help you with the phone but they can’t prove to you the data speed and coverage. So if you really are upset about it take out the sim and put it in your desired phone. At least they’re doing this, I don’t see any other carrier PROVING their speed. Companies can talk the talk, at least Tmobile is actually showing everyone that they are a high speed data network.

    • Bill Mattheis

      It’s meant to be a test of the coverage rather than the phone. Apple offered their phone…Samsung didn’t.

    • The Dude

      Thats my initial impression man
      but like, if it was any phone, people would be just doing it to try the new android phones out, like, you know man?
      So they, you know, put it on the iphone, because its like a basic platform man, no frills man.

      • mcdonsco

        WTF is with your excessive use of “man”? You high or am I really missing something?

        • Under the bridge downtown

          He’s The Dude, man!

        • Right over your head…

        • cizzlen

          Nice fail