CES 2014 rolls on today with T-Mobile and its Uncarrier 4 event, and just as expected, the big magenta operator has announced that starting on Jan. 9, it will pay the early termination fees of customers that switch to it from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon.
Referred to by T-Mobile as a "Get Out of Jail Free Card," the offer includes a payment of up to $350 per line to cover a customer's ETF. In order to qualify, a consumer will need to trade in their old device, purchase a new T-Mobile phone, port their number to T-Mobile and then send a copy of the final bill from their old operator to T-Mo. In addition to paying switchers up to $350 for their ETFs, T-Mobile will hand out instant credits of up to $300 to any customers that switch to T-Mobile, sign up for a postpaid Simple Choice plan, trade in their current device and purchase a new T-Mo phone.
T-Mobile today also provided an update on its 4G LTE rollout. The big magenta carrier says that after examining millions of speed tests from over 1 million customers using the Ookla Speed Test app, it's determined that it has the fastest and most consistent LTE network in the U.S. T-Mo says that it averaged download speeds of 17.8Mbps.
The T-Mobile LTE network is now available in 273 metro areas, including 95 of the top 100 markets, with 43 of the top 50 areas enjoying 10+10MHz LTE connectivity that can produce download speeds of up to 72Mbps and uploads of up to 27Mbps. T-Mo also said that its 20+20MHz LTE network was able to crank out download speeds of 147Mbps and upload speeds of 40Mbps in its testing. Once T-Mobile begins rolling this 20+20MHz LTE out to more areas, customers with devices like the Galaxy Note 3, Nexus 5 and G2 will be able to take advantage of those Wideband LTE speeds.
Rounding out T-Mobile's announcements today is confirmation of the impending arrival of three new pieces of hardware. T-Mobile says that the LG G Flex is coming soon, with exact pricing and availability details to come at a later date, and that the Sony Xperia Z1S will launch on Jan. 22 at a price of $0 down and 24 monthly payments of $22 each. Customers that prefer bigger screens may be interested in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, which will hit T-Mobile's website on Jan. 9 and then arrive in stores on Jan. 15. Pricing for the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 will be set at $0 down and 24 payments of $13 each.
UPDATE: T-Mobile just released the preliminary numbers from its Q4 2013 earnings, and overall it looks like the magenta carrier looks like it did pretty well for itself. T-Mo says that it added 1.645 million customers in the quarter, up from a loss of 32,000 subscribers in Q4 2012. Included in that total is 869,000 branded postpaid net additions, which T-Mobile says is the best its done in that area since Q4 2005. In total, T-Mobile reports that it added 4.4 million customers in 2013, finishing the year with a subscriber base of 46.7 million.
T-Mo will report its full Q4 2013 earnings on Feb. 25.