T-Mobile outs JUMP! upgrade program, major LTE expansion and availability of Lumia 925 and Xperia ZAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
Today T-Mobile held an event at which it promised its "boldest moves yet," and while the exact boldness of these moves is something you'll have to decide for yourself, the magenta carrier did have quite a bit of news to share.
First up is the new "JUMP!" program, which allows T-Mobile customers to pay a $10 monthly fee in exchange for the ability to trade in their existing phone that's in "good, working condition" for a new device and pay the same amount as a new customer. T-Mobile says that JUMP! is launching on July 14, but customers that are enrolled must wait six months before they can upgrade. After that period passes, they'll be able to purchase a new phone up to twice every 12 months.
When a customer buys a new phone through JUMP!, any remaining payments that they had on their old handset are wiped away. Customers will then pay the same price for their upgraded phone as a new T-Mobile subscriber. It's also worth noting that the $10 per month fee for the JUMP! program also provides protection against malfunction, damage, loss or theft, so that extra cash is doing something for consumers even if they don't use every single upgrade.
In addition to its JUMP! program, T-Mobile has announced that it plans to begin offering a Simple Choice family plan that includes no credit check. The rate plan will include unlimited talk, text and 500MB of data for up to four lines. Pricing will be set at $100 per month, and customers that want to sign up will need to put down a deposit that T-Mobile says is "roughly equivalent" to a single month's bill. The new plan will be available on July 14.
T-Mobile today also announced a major expansion to its 4G LTE network. After originally launching in seven U.S. markets back in March, T-Mobile says that its LTE network is now available to 116 metropolitan areas and 157 million people across the country. Included in the list of newly-lit locales are major cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Seattle, Atlanta and Miami. A full list of T-Mobile's 116 4G LTE markets can be found in PDF form right here.
There's some good news today for customers in the market for some new T-Mobile hardware as well. T-Mo today revealed that it plans to begin selling the Nokia Lumia 925 on July 17 for a down payment of $49.99 and 24 monthly installments of $20 each. The Lumia 925 is Nokia's new aluminum-clad Windows Phone 8 offering, packing a 4.5-inch 1280x768 AMOLED display, 8.7 megapixel rear and and 1.2-megapixel front-facing cameras, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 16GB storage, NFC, 4G LTE connectivity and a 2,000mAh battery.
The Lumia 925 isn't the only new smartphone launching at T-Mobile on July 17, though, as that's also the date that the Sony Xperia Z will be hitting Magenta's shelves. The Xperia Z will be carry a down payment of $99.99 and 24 monthly installments of $20 each. T-Mobile will begin accepting pre-orders for the Xperia Z on July 16, and early buyers will be given a free Sony Wireless Bluetooth Speaker. Any T-Mobile customers that don't feel like waiting a week can snag an Xperia Z even sooner if they don't mind buying from Sony, as the manufacturer will begin selling the Xperia Z online and in its 38 U.S. Sony Style stores starting today, July 10.
Rounding out T-Mobile's announcements is the news that the magenta carrier plans to update its Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 with support for the T-Mobile 4G LTE network. The update is slated to begin rolling out sometime in the coming weeks. T-Mobile's Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is now available for purchase for $99.99 down and 24 monthly payments of $15 each.