By: Gigaom
T-Mobile launches LTE with a bang, the iPhone 5 and no contracts
After building up its HSPA+ network for several years, T-Mobile has finally lit up its LTE network, with initial service offerings in 7 markets, along with several devices that can use it: Including the iPhone 5.

T-Mobile’s transition to the “un-carrier” is complete. The last of the big four U.S. network carriers has an LTE service to call its very own: T-Mobile officially flipped the switch for its LTE network on Tuesday. At a press event in New York City, T-Mobile announced the first 7 cities that support the fast mobile broadband service: Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Jose, and Washington, D.C. New York City is expected to have LTE service by early summer.

The carrier says it will deliver LTE speed to 100 million Americans by the middle of this year and 200 million by the end of 2013. LTE devices will include Apple’s iPhone 5 on April 12, plus the Galaxy S 4, BlackBerry Z10, HTC One and, after a recent software upgrade, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. A new Sonic 2.0 Mobile Hotspot also joins the list of LTE-capable devices.

Earlier this week, T-Mobile announced Simple Choice plans that don’t have contract terms. Instead, customers will choose from a rate plan including unlimited text, talk and various capacities of high speed mobile broadband service:

“Customers start with one line at $50 per month for unlimited talk, text and Web with 500MB of high-speed data. Customers can add a second phone line for $30 per month, and each additional line is just $10 per month. They can also add 2 GB of high-speed data for $10 per month more per line. Unlimited 4G data is only $20 more per month per line.”

The benefit here is that service is unbundled from the phone due to the lack of contract: Instead of sticking consumers with a phone for 24 months or more, phones can be upgraded at any point in time with no change in rates, nor any time commitments.

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