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T-Mobile announces its "Boldest Moves Yet": Jump, LTE, Nokia Lumia 925, Sony Xperia Z and more

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We've been patiently waiting for the T-Mobile press conference to begin, and just minutes before CEO John Legere took the stage, we got word from T-Mobile exactly what the announcements will be. We have heard about T-Mobile's new "Jump" program for upgrading your phone, the LTE expansion, and we expected the announcement of the Nokia Lumia 925, and Sony Xperia Z, but the company is also announcing a new family plan with no credit check.

Let's walk through the announcements:

JUMP!: This is the new program that we hoped would allow unlimited upgrades, but rather it allows T-Mobile customers to upgrade their phones when they want, up to twice per year. The program also includes total protection against device malfunction, damage, loss or theft – all for just $10 per month. So, despite the limit of two trade-ins per year, this is still a great deal. Previously, phone protection alone was $8 per month, and now just $2 more gives you the option to upgrade twice a year. 

The way it will work is that you pay the monthly fee, and you can go into a T-Mobile store twice a year and trade-in your "eligible phone that's in good working condition". The payments left of your Equipment Installment Program (EIP) will be wiped away. Then, just pick up whatever device you want and pay as you normally would (usually $99 up front and $20 per month on the EIP). If your device is damaged, the protection side of Jump kicks in to allow you to pay the deductible and get a replacement, then you can still trade that in for a new device if you want. 

Jump will be available starting Sunday on new EIP purchases. 

Rapidly expanding 4G LTE network: T-Mobile has announced that its 4G LTE network now reaches 157 million people across the United States and is live in 116 metropolitan areas. That is a pretty solid amount of rollout given that the company first launched LTE less than 4 months ago. T-Mobile is still on track to have 4G LTE network coverage that by the end of the year will reach 200 million people in more than 200 metropolitan markets.

Additionally, T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ network service is available to 228 million people nationwide. The network as a whole still isn't as expansive as Verizon or AT&T, but if you live in a major metropolitan area, it's definitely a viable option at a good price. 

Simple Choice Plan for All Families: Before this announcement, we expected that T-Mobile would eliminate credit checks, but that has actually only happened with a new plan. The new Simple Choice Plan offers families 4 lines with unlimited talk, text, and up to 500MB of high-speed data for only $100 per month (plus taxes & fees), and it doesn't require a credit check or annual service contract.

T-Mobile says that one in three families can't get "the best wireless rates" because of poor credit scores, and so the company is going to remove the need for credit checks on family plans. Individuals will still need to have a credit check run in order to sign up.

Expanding 4G LTE device lineup: T-Mobile introduced pricing and availability for two new 4G LTE-capable devices, the Sony Xperia Z  and the Nokia Lumia 925. Both devices will be made available on July 17th, as the rumors had predicted. The Xperia Z is the same waterproof device with a 5" 1080p display, Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage with expandable microSD, 13MP camera, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The Xperia Z will cost $99 down, and $20 per month for 24 months on EIP.

The Nokia Lumia 925 will be the T-Mobile variant of the Lumia 920 packed with Windows Phone 8, a 4.5" 768x1280 display, 16GB storage, and 8.7MP Zeiss camera with optical image stabilization. The Lumia 925 will cost just $49 up front and $20 per month for 24 months on EIP.

In addition, T-Mobile is going to push an update for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 which will unlock LTE support on the device.

Not a bad roundup of announcements, eh?

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