MetroPCS Adds 15 LTE Markets, Nokia Lumia 521, LG Optimus F3
MetroPCS has expanded its presence into 15 new markets, thanks to its recent merger with T-Mobile.
T-Mobile's plan is to transition MetroPCS customers over to its High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) and Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks, and then to upgrade MetroPCS's Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) to LTE. Thanks to this handover, MetroPCS says customers in the new markets can expect speeds, on average, that are "seven times faster" than its previous markets.
The new markets are Baltimore, Md.; Birmingham, Ala; Cleveland and Akron, Ohio; Corpus Christi, Texas; Fresno, Calif.; Houston, Texas; Memphis, Tenn.; New Orleans, La; Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio and Austin, Texas; San Diego, Calif.; Seattle and Tacoma, Wash.; Tallahassee, Fla.; Toledo and Sandusky, Ohio; and Washington, D.C.
On July 26, MetroPCS added two new smartphones to its 4G portfolio, the Nokia Lumia 521—its first Windows Phone 9-running handset—and the LG Optimus F3.
The Lumia 521 features a 4-inch super-sensitive display—you can use it with gloves on—Nokia's Here Maps, loads of free music, camera lenses exclusive to Nokia, for doing things like taking panoramic shots or using Smart Shoot technology to make sure everyone in the shot is looking their best.
The Android-running Optimus F3 also has a 4-inch display, plus a battery said to last for 16 hours of talk time.
Earlier this month, MetroPCS announced the addition of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 to its network.
"We've been beating our no-contract competitors hands-down for value, and now, with the strength of the T-Mobile 4G network behind us, that lead is only going to grow," Tom Keys, chief operating officer of MetroPCS, said a July 25 statement.
Keys added that with its "$40, period" rate—which includes unlimited data, talking and texting—MetroPCS plans to "win over customers, one-by-one."
MetroPCS also has a "bring your own phone" offer and has been encouraging AT&T defectors to sign on with their old iPhones—which T-Mobile's network can support.
T-Mobile, with the addition of MetroPCS's customers, spectrum and affordable offers, has made clear that it's going after AT&T's customers. And it appears to be having some success.
"On July 10, after announcing a new plan that enables customers to upgrade their devices twice a year, T-Mobile CEO John Legere told CNBC, "I can tell you where a lot of my customers are coming from. It's a small company called AT&T."
On July 23, AT&T announced that churn during its second quarter was "up slightly" from a year ago.
"I think there's a lot of upside for this company by taking things the old-fashioned way," Legere concluded in his CNBC interview, "which is solving customers' needs, bringing customers to our network one-by-one, expanding our capabilities, moving to 20 by 20 [MHz of LTE], pushing the MetroPCS brand into the elite markets and taking it from there. ... We have a bright future in front of us."