T-Mobile has announced it will sell the iPhone 5 starting on April 12, 2013. It will be the first U.S. carrier to offer nationwide support for HD Voice—for improved iPhone 5 phone call quality—and will offer a single budget-priced plan with tethering included, plus unlimited 4G data as an option. The company currently operates a 4G network in 229 “metropolitan areas,” with LTE support coming online today in seven cities (Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Jose, California, and Washington, D.C.), and more to come throughout the year. T-Mobile claims that its 4G network includes support for HSPA+, which could enable extremely fast speeds even for users in areas without LTE coverage.
Qualifying customers will be able to purchase the phone for $100 down, plus monthly payments of $20 for two years; should you leave the network before then, you need only pay off the remaining cost of the phone, or trade it in for a fair market value credit. T-Mobile will offer the iPhone 5 with no annual service contract, unlimited talk, text, and web on 4G. The company’s Simple Choice Plan is $50 a month for unlimited talk, text, and 500MB of 4G data for web use. Customers can add 2GB of 4G data for an extra $10 per month, per line. An unlimited 4G data option is an additional $20 per month per line; with that plan, the data will be unlimited on the phone, but limited for tethering purposes. Unlike Verizon and Sprint, but like AT&T, T-Mobile’s network supports simultaneous phone calling and cellular data use.
T-Mobile will also make the iPhone 4S and 4 available in “select markets.” The iPhone 4S will be available for $70 down, plus $20 per month for 24 months. The iPhone 4 will require $15 down, and $15 per month for 24 months. An iPhone 5 notification page has been launched on the company’s web site in advance of the official release.