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T-Mobile announced today that it has partnered with Apple to rent customers a brand-new iPhone 5s (“or whatever is the latest and great iPhone”) to test out the company’s network for one week as part of its “Uncarrier 5.0″ event. The offer is part of the “un-carrier’s” new “Test Drive” program that attempts to lure away subscribers on competing networks. The program starts on June 23rd.

Users can sign up on T-Mobile’s website and will receive an iPhone 5s to use for one week on the T-Mobile wireless network. After the trial period ends, customers can drop the phone off at a T-Mobile store. The entire process costs nothing.

The company hopes that this will eliminate buyer’s remorse and give people a chance to see how well the network will work for them on a daily basis. The full press release is below:

T-Mobile Transforms the Way Americans Buy Wireless … Again

T-Mobile Test Drive offers every American an iPhone 5s with unlimited service on T-Mobile’s network 
for a full seven days – completely free.As the Un-carrier puts its network’s data muscle on show, T-Mobile expands Wideband LTE to 16 total markets and VoLTE technology to 15 total markets reaching over 100 million people

SEATTLE, WA, June 18, 2014 – In another of its signature moves, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) today introduced “T-Mobile Test Drive” and pioneered a new way to buy wireless in this country.  With T-Mobile Test Drive, people can receive an iPhone 5s and unlimited nationwide service to take T-Mobile’s network for a data-intensive, seven-day spin at no cost whatsoever.

The new initiative puts T-Mobile’s data-strong network in the spotlight, as the Un-carrier rolls out yet another major network expansion ahead of the competition.

No More “Buying Blind”
The Un-carrier’s latest initiative takes aim at the painful process of buying wireless in America today.  People must decide on a wireless provider without knowing how the network will really work for them – where they live, go to school, work, and play.  As a result, the U.S. wireless industry has one of the highest “remorse rates” of any out there.  Nearly half (46%) of wireless customers say they’ve signed up with a carrier and then wanted to leave, and one in 10 have actually left within the first 30 days of making a switch.1  It’s a pain point ripe for an Un-carrier solution.

“The way this industry forces Americans to buy wireless is completely, utterly broken.  I’m here to tell you there’s a better way,” declared John Legere, T-Mobile CEO and President. “While the carriers ask you to buy blind, the Un-carrier gives you transparency.  Our network kicks ass, and now people can experience for themselves what a data-strong network can do with T-Mobile Test Drive.”

Starting this Monday, June 23, people can sign up for T-Mobile Test Drive at www.t-mobile.com/testdrive.  A few days later, they’ll receive an iPhone 5s fully loaded and ready to go, and they can put T-Mobile’s data-strong network to the test for seven full days on the “most forward-thinking” smartphone.  After the test drive, just drop it off at any T-Mobile store.  That’s it.  Absolutely no money down.  No obligation.  No strings attached.

T-Mobile Test Drive is a first-of-its-kind nationwide initiative from a major carrier that the Un-carrier is rolling out at scale.  During the first year of the program alone, T-Mobile expects at least one million people to take a test drive.

Network Designed Data-Strong
T-Mobile Test Drive marks a new campaign to let consumers experience first-hand how the Un-carrier’s network is different, even as the company today announced two massive network expansions.  T-Mobile has expanded Wideband LTE into 16 total markets, giving all T-Mobile LTE devices a speed boost with capable peak network download speeds up to nearly150 Mbps – that comes out to a 90-minute HD movie download in under three minutes or an 11-song music album in seven seconds.

Building on its data DNA, the Un-carrier also expanded Voice over LTE (VoLTE) to more than 100 million people in 15 total markets.  T-Mobile was the first major provider to launch VoLTE, and now, because its network has been designed for data, is nearly doubling the amount of data dedicated to voice calls for highest fidelity, crystal-clear HD Voice and faster call setup times than ever before. The Un-carrier expects to deploy VoLTE nationwide by the end of the year.

“The old telecoms designed their networks for a time when your phone’s only app was a phone call—and they haven’t shaken that dial-tone mind-set,” said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile. “Our 4G LTE network was built in the last year and a half, so naturally we built it differently.  We built it for the way people use smartphones and tablets today, and we built it with a mobile Internet architecture, so we could roll out new technologies faster.”

Now, as mobile broadband usage skyrockets, Un-carrier customers are reaping the rewards of a network designed to be data-strong and concentrated where people use data the most – unlike older carrier networks built by phone company utilities.  T-Mobile customers are using more wireless data on average than the major national carrier customers – 61% more than Sprint, 69% more than Verizon, and 100% more than AT&T.  T-Mobile customers also have more network capacity per customer than with any other major national wireless company, a full 70% more network spectrum per customer than Verizon, and they’re streaming, tweeting, using FaceTime and more at lightening speeds on America’s fastest nationwide 4G LTE network.

“We’re a mobile Internet company competing against utilities, so it’s no wonder we’re faster than they are,” added Legere. “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.”

Learn more about T-Mobile’s network expansion and data-strong network design in this blog post.  For more information on iPhone, please visit www.apple.com/iphone. For more information about T-Mobile Test Drive, visitt-mobile.com/testdrive or the T-Mobile Newsroom.  

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8 Responses to “T-Mobile announces ‘Test Drive,’ offers free iPhone 5s for week-long network trial”

  1. mpias3785 says:

    Finding an area where T-Mobile works reliably enough for a reasonably good internet connection is only slightly easier than finding a free WiFi hotspot in my neck of the woods (about 15-20 mi west of NYC).

    People who use T-Mobile (or Sprint) are lucky if they can get any signal in my area. AT&T and Verizon, no problem.

    T-Mobile needs to expand their coverage if they expect to be more than a third rate player, not play marketing games.

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    • I completely agree. I also get horrible coverage when I go on expressways!

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    • I used T-mobile for a few months about 10 months ago and the network was bad.. even in the NY Metro area.. You wouldn’t get any signal at all.. It was so bad that I wanted to cancel my service after 2 days. They offered 3 months of free phone service If I stuck around for the network to improve. Even with the free service I felt the need to get rid of the misery of relying on that horrendous network but it was that or free service so I stuck around.. the service did not improve a bit throughout the 3 months. I ended up canceling my plan.

      However, I was back in NY for a week’s visit a few weeks ago and decided to use my iPad’s promotional data pass SIM card into my iPhone so I could get data service and make phone calls from Google Voice. I was prepared for the worst given my previous experience.. turns out they’ve improved the network greatly… that or maybe my iPhone 5S was better than my iPhone 5 at grabbing signal. I was amazed by how much better it was the second time around. I had data service everywhere I went.. not 3g but LTE service.

      I really don’t know about other cities but the places I went to in Jersey and throughout the city in NY my experience was awesome. I will go back to them when I move for good to the states. Their service is pretty good and they are offering advantages no other carrier has. So I think they are worth a shot.. this thing is pretty good them offering free tryouts to their network.

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  2. I live near some pretty populated areas and there are not even any T-Mobile stores around. Where I live Sprints only marginally better but AT&T and Verzion give no problems at all. Also where I live if someone says they have T-Mobile they get laughed at because they have almost zero coverage.

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  3. Sprint is great in my area of South Fulton County Georgia (Metro Atlanta).

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  4. This is a pretty great deal! I’m sure that there are some people in some areas who would be fine on the T-Mobile network and this is a great way for the company to find those people. It seems like a no-lose situation. If you don’t like it… Just return it! If you do like it… They’ll pay your ETFs and you’ll probably save some money switching to them (if you’re on Verizon or AT&T anyway). I just can’t imaging them being better than Verizon. My phone has literally NEVER not been on LTE where I live. I don’t think it would know what to do if it ever switched to 3G…

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  5. I’m with T-Mobile and I travel quite a bit throughout the continental US. There aren’t a whole lot of places I’ve been where I have terrible signal. There is one place I stayed at in LA which was pretty bad but I’m a patient guy because any signal woes will be fixed when iOS 8 comes out — WiFi calling and texting.

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