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T-Mobile's iPhone 5 pricing now $149, carrier update 'hack' reportedly boosts data speeds

As its promotion of the iPhone 5 comes to an end, U.S. wireless provider T-Mobile has raised the price of Apple's flagship handset to $149; and a pair of hackers claim to have found a way to increase the handset's data transmission speeds by using the carrier's latest over-the-air update.

T-Mobile on Monday has officially ended its iPhone 5 promotion nearly one month to the day after the smartphone debuted on its network on April 12, reports TmoNews.

T-Mobile iPhone 5

Source: TmoNews

Under the regular pricing structure, effective today, the iPhone 5 now costs a total of $629 spread out over 24 months, up from the introductory $579 cost. As is to be expected, the 32GB and 64GB models are also moving over to the standard plan, and now go for an upfront fee of $249 and $349, respectively. The subsequent $20 per month installation fees will remain the same.

The iPhone 5 with eligible plan now increases from $579 to $629 as your total overall payment over 24 months. The 32GB and 64GB models don’t escape the price increase either as they move to $249 and $349 down payments respectively. That’s a $50 increase in the net down payment across the board leading to a $50 increase in the total cost over the life of the plan to $729 and $529

For the last 30 days, the carrier was offering up a 16GB version of the handset for $99 up front, with 20 additional monthly payments of $20 covering the remaining device cost. In addition to the "UNcarrier" pricing, the telecom offered a "$0 down" iPhone trade-in deal in which iPhone 4 and 4S owners received credit essentially negating the promotional $99 upfront fee.

The fourth largest wireless carrier in the U.S., and the last of the "Big Four" to hammer out a contract with Apple," T-Mobile recently announced it sold over 500,000 iPhones since the device launched on its network in April.

In other T-Mobile iPhone news, a pair of hackers claim to have boosted iPhone 5 HSPA+ data speeds by rewriting the code released in the carrier's latest OTA update, which enabled compatibility with the telecom's LTE network on AWS 1700/2100 MHz spectrum but reportedly caused a slowdown on the recently refarmed 1900MHz bandwidth.

T-Mobile Speed

Source: TmoNews

The hackers, Joseph Brown and Sky Zangas, rewrote T-Mobile's carrier update, supposedly correcting an issue that switched an iPhone 5's HSPA+ band preferences to AWS even on older models that don't support the spectrum. With the tweaked update, the iPhone 5's band settings are reset to auto, allowing the device to select the most advantageous connection based on network compatibility.

According to Brown, T-Mobile's network can handle downlink speeds of 42 Mbps and uplink speeds of 5.76 Mpbs. The hack is said to bring a boost from 3 Mbps to 8Mbps down,

The hack does not require a jailbreak to function, however is does disable T-Mobile's iPhone 5 hotspot functionality.