T-Mobile last night held a PR event to unveil the company's latest salvo in their "uncarrier" marketing campaign. According to T-Mobile's announcement
, they're now offering users the opportunity to test drive an iPhone 5S on T-Mobile's network for a full week at no cost. Many carriers offered 30 day money back guarantees as part of settlements for misleading ETF policies years ago
, but have slowly backed away from them over time.
"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."
T-Mobile also offered up some additional detail on the progress of network upgrades at last night's event.
According to T-Mobile, the company has expanded Wideband LTE into 16 total markets, which should provide a theoretical maximum speed boost of up to 150 Mbps on LTE devices. The company says they've also expanded their VoLTE upgrades into more than 100 million people in 15 total markets.
Most curious perhaps is T-Mobile's announcement that moving forward, the company won't count streaming music against the company's simple Choice data plans. The company stated that they'll make a continuous list of the top six streaming music services, and exempt those services from a user's data allowance if the use is paying at least $50 per month. There's no gain if user is paying for unlimited data, but it could prove handy for 1 GB, 3 GB and 5 GB capped users.
Unlike AT&T's Sponsored Data effort
, it doesn't appear that companies have to pay T-Mobile in order to have their content bypass the cap. However, T-Mobile's implementation remains problematic in that it still gives the biggest music streaming services a leg up against their smaller competitors, something that is sure to raise net neutrality hackles. While T-Mobile's trying to be disruptive here, it could set a very dangerous precedent.