By Johnny Wills email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 10, 2013 12:42 PM EST
T-Mobile fell behind AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon for providing faster LTE network access to its users. However, the carrier is now working to make up for the lost time.
At the 2013 International CES (or CES 2013) in Las Vegas, T-Mobile wrapped up its event with a bunch of announcements related to updating its network and smartphones with LTE support, along with launching a no-contract unlimited 4G data plan.
Starting Wednesday, Jan. 9, T-Mobile's new 4G data plan will be available nationwide for $70 a month. T-Mobile customers will get unlimited data, unlimited voice, and unlimited text messages without an annual contract.
"If you thought T-Mobile went away, that we were not a significant player, think again," said John Legere, T-Mobile CEO, in an announcement.
T-Mobile also announced that the HD Voice is now available on its network. HD Voice gives a clearer sound, reducing background noise and adding nuance for better call quality. However, the feature works only when both the phones are HD Voice compatible. Presently, only three phones from T-Mobile - HTC One S, Nokia Astound, and Samsung Galaxy S3 - are HD Voice-ready. HD Voice will work on the three phones without any update, while T-Mobile commits to release more HD Voice-compatible phones in the near-future.
AT&T also demonstrated its own HD Voice service at the CES 2013, but the feature will land on AT&T in the second half of 2013, giving T-Mobile a head start.
T-Mobile also revealed that a faster LTE network will go live in Las Vegas in about two weeks. The Vegas Launch will be followed by a series of LTE rollouts. T-Mobile is aiming to reach with 100 million customers by mid-2013 and 200 million customers by the end of 2013, offering a full-on LTE-Advanced network.
T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray told The Verge that a new version of Samsung Galaxy S3 is coming with LTE support. Existing LTE-compatible phones on the carrier, namely Samsung Galaxy Note 2, will have full access to carrier's LTE network, following a small software update.