T-Mobile is offering customers loaner iPhones to test its upgraded LTE network


At T-Mobile’s(s tmus) Uncarrier 5.0 event Wednesday night, CEO John Legere trotted out a new concept in the mobile industry: the test phone. Starting Monday, T-Mobile will send any potential a customer an iPhone 5s(s aapl) and let him or her have free reign over its network for seven days.

While many operators offer a trial period for your mobile service or device, it’s often more trouble than its worth, requiring you to re-provision to a new phone or carrier and often pay a restocking fee. With T-Mobile’s Test Drive program, you don’t switch carriers, sign a contract or buy device. T-Mobile sends what amounts to a loaner phone for you to try out while you’re still with your current carrier. After seven days you drop the loaner handset off at a T-Mobile store, and you’re then free to remain with your current carrier or sign up for new service…

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Crate and Nimboxx are the winners of the 2014 Structure Launchpad competition


Data-store company Crate and IT hardware specialist Nimboxx left today’s Structure event as the winners of Gigaom’s Launchpad competition. Crate won the judges hearts and took home the Judge’s Choice award while Nimboxx captivated the audience and won the People’s Choice award.

The panel of three judges—comprised of Samuel Angus of Fenwick & West, Heroku’s Tod Nielsen, and Michael Redding of Accenture Technology Labs—took to Crate’s “super-scalable data store” that can help companies deal with big data analytics.

Redding praised Crate’s choice to use a SQL interface for its product, which he said would cause enterprises to adopt the product because of the popularity of SQL and “get into a distributed architecture for a lower training cost.”

After the judges made their decision, the audience voted for Nimboxx, whose data-center-in-a box is tailored for folks who don’t want to deal with the headache that comes with running tons of virtual…

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T-Mobile exempts music streaming from its data plans, partners with Rhapsody


There is a bit more to Uncarrier 5.0 than the new Test Drive iPhone loaner program T-Mobile(s tmus) announced earlier this evening. CEO John Legere said that T-Mobile is allowing unlimited music streaming on its Simple Choice data plans — regardless of whether you subscribe to an all-you-can-eat plan or one with a monthly data bucket.

T-Mobile is basically giving audio streaming services like Pandora(s p), iTunes Radio(s aapl) and Spotify a free pass on its network as long as you to subscribe to a $50 or higher plan (it’s not available on Simple Starter plans). Any data used won’t count against your monthly allotment. That’s good news if you subscribe to one of T-Mobile’s 1GB, 3GB or 5GB plans, but not that noteworthy if you pay  the $80-a-month plan, which already supports unlimited data of any sort.

Source: Kevin Fitchard / Gigaom John Legere at T-Mobile’s Uncarrier 5.0 launch event (Source: Kevin Fitchard…

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