T-Mobile is the third largest carrier of the big four US carriers and the second largest GSM provider, with over 30 million subscribers. The company is owned by international mega-telco Deutsche Telekom, serving as its US wireless operation, and can trace its roots to the establishment of VoiceStream Wireless PCS in 1994. VoiceStream was purchased by Deutsche Telekom in 2001, and the company relaunched as T-Mobile in the USA in July 2002.
T-Mobile is known for its competitive pricing structure and superb customer service. In comparison with other providers such as Verizon, it offers great value plans, and since its recent 'unCarrier' makeover, all plans are contract-free. The downside to this is that subsidized phones are no longer offered; T-Mobile customers will either need to purchase their new phone outright, or can opt to make a down payment followed by monthly installments over 24 months. If a customer decides to cancel their T-Mobile service before their device is paid off, they'll need to pay out the outstanding balance before switching to another carrier.
One of the definite pros of T-Mobile is its unlimited data plans. Unlike supposedly ‘unlimited’ plans sold by competing carriers, T-Mobile doesn’t throttle speeds when its customers reach certain download limits, giving it a definite edge. Combined with the comparative affordability of its unlimited plans, it’s a strong lure for customers who love browsing the Web or social networking.
T-Mobile claims that they have the fastest nationwide 4G LTE network based on download speeds. T-Mobile’s network covers approximately 96% of Americans regardless of speed and is continuously being upgraded and expanded, and for the areas it doesn’t cover it has established roaming agreements with AT&T and other smaller carriers.
Although the last of the big US carriers to offer an Apple device, T-Mobile now sells the latest iPhone. It also has an extensive selection of Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry devices, and was in fact the first US carrier to launch an Android-powered phone (the HTC Dream, marketed as the T-Mobile G1).
T-Mobile is renowned throughout the country for offering the best customer service of the wireless providers. It’s one of the few carriers to make 24 hour customer service available to its subscribers, and frequently comes out on top in customer satisfaction surveys from third parties. It also operates a T-Mobile Hotspots WiFi Network in over 8350 locations across the US.
T-Mobile has positioned itself as the Un-Carrier, innovating with such programs as making all their plans 'no contract' and introducing 'early upgrade plans' and many new features in the wireless market, most of which have been copied by their competitors. T-Mobile's recent growth has seen it add more customers than other networks so the Un-Carrier is on to something.
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