T-Mobile 4G Mobile Broadband 'Passes' Start Coming May 20

A busy T-Mobile is offering a new way for subscribers to take advantage of its 4G network without committing to an annual contract. Mobile broadband passes will be available, starting May 20 and at prices from $15 to $50.

T-Mobile is offering subscribers a new, contract-free way to connect to its 4G network. Beginning this Sunday, May 20, it will offer No Annual Contract mobile broadband service passes.

The passes come in four options: 300MB for a one-week pass, for $15; 1.5GB for a one-month pass, for $25; 3.5GB for a one-month pass, for $35; and 5GB for a one-month pass for $50.

T-Mobile says it knows many of its customers want the flexibility to be able to access mobile broadband speeds without committing to an annual fee. To further simplify things, there will also be an auto-refill option. The passes will be available online, and through T-Mobile retail stores and some retailers.

As T-Mobile works to build out a Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network alongside its Evolved High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA+) 4G network€”an initiative largely made possible by the consolation prize of spectrum and roughly $4 billion offered by AT&T following its failed bid to purchase the Deutsche Telekom-owned carrier€”T-Mobile announced it will be cutting more jobs. While the anticipated LTE network has brightened the carrier€™s prospects, CEO Philipp Humm, in a memo sent to employees this week, said T-Mobile still needs to better align its costs with its €œrevenue realities.€

A contributor to those realities is that T-Mobile is the only top four carrier not to offer an Apple iPhone, which is incompatible with its current network technology. As T-Mobile upgrades to LTE, however, that scenario will change, and T-Mobile is expected to finally be able to sign on the dotted line with Apple.

China Mobile, China€™s No. 1 carrier and the largest carrier worldwide by subscriber numbers, is also expected to be able to work out a deal with Apple for the iPhone, following an upgrade to LTE.

Despite its belt-tightening, T-Mobile is said to have been (or still be) in talks with smaller carrier MetroPCS about the possibility of merging or of Deutsche Telekom taking control of the two. The carriers€™ technologies, however, are currently incompatible, which would make for a messy merger but succeed in bolstering T-Mobile€™s ability to gain size and customers, as Bloomberg reported would be the deal€™s intention.

Contributing to a busy month, T-Mobile has also joined Sprint and others, collectively naming themselves the Alliance for Broadband Competition, in calling the Federal Communication Commission€™s (FCC) attention to agreements Verizon has penned with several cable companies. Time Warner, Comcast, Bright House Networks and Cox have agreed to sell Verizon spectrum€”which would give it an €œexcessive concentration€ of €œespecially important spectrum,€ T-Mobile said in a May 14 statement€”as well as to bundle their offerings with Verizon€™s, and vice versa.

A joint operating entity (JOE) between the parties, mired behind a wall of redacted documents and FCC filings, say the Alliance, have the parties effectively agreeing to stop competing with each other. Speaking to this, DirecTV wrote to the FCC May 16 to call its attention to Verizon€™s decision to no longer offer standalone DSL service. DirecTV was worried, it said, about the connection between that decision and Verizon€™s new agreements with the cable companies, and the €œpotential harm€ the agreements could cause to both €œcompetition and consumers.€

T-Mobile, in its May 14 statement, said the Verizon deal, in simplest terms, is €œagainst the public interest.€

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