SEATTLE – T-Mobile Wednesday announced that it will allow consumers to test out its network through a free 7-day trial of an iPhone 5S, and offer streaming of many major without that traffic adding to one’s data bucket.
During a lavish event at the Paramount Theater in Seattle, CEO John Legere announced the new program, along with news that it will increase its number of VoLTE markets to 15, and its Wideband LTE will now cover 16 markets and 100 million customers.
Starting Monday, June 23, people can sign up for T-Mobile’s Test Drive online. A few days later, they’ll receive an iPhone 5s fully loaded and ready to go.
After the test drive, customers can drop the phone off at any T-Mobile store.
In a press briefing prior to the presentation, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said that T-Mobile is now shifting its messaging to the improved quality of its network.
T-Mobile said it expects 1 million people to sign up for the Test Drive in the first year.
Legere brought his usual schtick to Seattle, railing against AT&T and Verizon for not understanding what customers want.
“We’re a mobile Internet company competing against utilities, so it’s no wonder we’re faster than they are,” Legere said in a statement. “We’re out there doing it while the other guys are still scheduling a meeting to talk about doing it. And there’s one more thing you can bank on. We won’t stop.”
Calling the Test Drive a 7-Night Stand, Legere joked that T-Mobile thinks everyone “should cheat on their carrier.”
Legere also said that the iPhone was used in the promtion for a reason, specifically that many Americans don’t realize T-Mobile carries Apple’s iconic device.
While Test Drive was part of Uncarrier 5.0, T-Mobile also announced Wednesday Uncarrier 6.0, which included free streaming of music from a variety of music services.
Legere called data charges for streaming music a pain point for customers. “Even when you exhaust your high-speed date bucket, you will still stream music at a high speed,” Legere said of T-Mobile’s new promotion.
The participating services include Pandora, iTunes Radio, Rhapsody, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Slacker, which T-Mobile says account for 80 percent of streaming music traffic on T-Mobile’s network. T-Mobile is also asking consumers to vote online for services they would like added to the promotion.
But T-Mobile didn’t stop there. The company is launching an Internet radio service of its own in cooperation with Rhapsody. The new service is called unRadio and is $5 per month for anyone but free for T-Mobile’s unlimited customers.
Wednesday’s event was originally scheduled for Los Angeles, but the carrier switched its location to correspond with Amazon’s launch event for its new Fire Phone in Seattle.