T-Mobile is announcing more major changes to distance itself from the other US carriers — for starters, it just introduced a new plan called Jump. For $10 per month, customers will be able to upgrade their phones up to two times per year. It's similar to what we heard earlier today, though phone upgrades won't be unlimited. Also, you'll need to wait six months until you're eligible for your first upgrade. While there are definitely some caveats to this new plan, it's a far sight better than AT&T and Verizon's full two-year wait period before customers can upgrade with a subsidy.
Here's how Jump works: after an initial six-month waiting period, users can trade in their T-Mobile phone "in good working condition" (must have no water damage, an unbroken screen, and able to boot up) and purchase a new one for the same price as new customers to T-Mobile. Your old installment payment plan will be eliminated and you'll get charged a new one based on your new phone. In addition to using this to simply replace your phone if you're interested in an upgrade, Jump also includes a full insurance plan — coverage includes lost, stolen, or malfunctioning phones. Since T-Mobile said upgrades need a phone in "good working condition," you'll need to pay a deductible (ranging between $20 and $170 depending on what phone and how new it is) — but you can still switch over to any other phone you might want.
Additionally, T-Mobile is launching family plans with no contract or credit check required: for $100 per month, four family members can get unlimited talk and text with 500MB of full-speed data per month. However, you'll need to put down a deposit (T-Mobile says it's about equal to one month of service) in lieu of a credit check. T-Mobile's also providing some details on the buildout of its new LTE network — as of today, it reaches 157 million people across the US, exceeding the 100 million the company planned for by the middle of 2013. The network is now live in a total of 116 metro areas (and in 73 of the top 100 markets), including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Seattle, Atlanta, and Miami.
Follow along with our T-Mobile live blog for all of the news as it happens!