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tmobileT-Mobile customers using unlocked iPhones will be receiving a carrier update this Friday, enabling LTE and Visual Voicemail for their mobile devices.

TMoNews is reporting the news, adding that unlocked iPhones will now receive full support from T-Mobile.

This news comes days before T-Mobile offers the iPhone 5 for the first time on April 12, along with a new payment plan that allows for unlimited text, talk, and Web without an annual contract. The phone itself can be purchased for $99 down. The company is breaking from the tradition of wrapping — some might say hiding — the cost of a phone inside a wireless contract. Instead, T-Mobile customers will pay for their phones in interest-free installments.

This past Friday on our radio show, we welcomed Andrew Sherrard, the senior vice president of marketing for T-Mobile USA, who answered our questions about the new strategy. Will it ultimately be cheaper? What does it mean that T-Mobile customers will no longer have contracts? What happens if customers want to change to another carrier or get a new phone? What does this mean for existing T-Mobile customers, and could the changes by T-Mobile force the larger players in the industry — Verizon, AT&T and Sprint — to change how they do business?

T-Mobile’s merger with MetroPCS is also near completion. MetroPCS sent a letter to its shareholders Monday, urging them to vote to pass the merger when the vote is expected on April 12.

Previously on GeekWire: T-Mobile getting iPhone 5 in April: $99 down, $20/month, no contract required

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