MetroPCS, Like T-Mobile, Says Bring Over Your AT&T iPhone

 
 
By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2013-06-13
 
 
 

T-Mobile and MetroPCS completed their merger May 1, and the latter is now following the lead of its larger partner, encouraging consumers to switch to its network and bring their unlocked AT&T iPhones, or Android smartphones, with them.

"Stay in love," says the MetroPCS advertising. "Keep your number and save."

In the carrier's refreshingly blunt FAQ section it further explains, "MetroPCS may not offer the specific phone that you want. Bring Your Own Phone provides a way for you to have the phone you want with the affordable service MetroPCS offers."

MetroPCS offers contract-free plans and so doesn't subsidize devices. Bringing your own phone, it adds, is a lure for consumers who want to make the switch to contract-free but are accustomed to the price point of a subsidized phone.

The deal, however, is not for everyone. Currently, it's only available in Boston, Dallas, Hartford, Conn., and Las Vegas.

"We'll continue to add more cities, so check back often," says the MetroPCS site.

While in bold, MetroPCS is waving over AT&T customers (CEO John Legere has promised to go after AT&T), its finer print says it can also accommodate iPhones from T-Mobile, as well as Sprint's and Verizon's iPhone 5. Or rather, T-Mobile's GSM network can.

T-Mobile announced its intent to merge with MetroPCS on Oct. 3, 2012, giving MetroPCS a 26 percent stake in the new company and $1.5 billion. The appeal of MetroPCS included its prepaid brand—T-Mobile has since moved itself to a contract-free model—its customers and its spectrum.

While T-Mobile's GSM-based network is incompatible with MetroPCS' CDMA network, T-Mobile's plan is to transition MetroPCS' CDMA and LTE customers to its HSPA and LTE networks, and then roll out its LTE network across MetroPCS' spectrum.

Detailing the proposed merger during an Oct. 3 conference call, Rene Obermann, CEO of T-Mobile parent-company Deutsche Telekom, said that the combined companies would be "excellently positioned" to capture growth in the fast-growing no-contract market; would benefit from their strengthened spectrum position; would have a "clear-cut technology path" toward a common LTE network; and would enjoy "strengthened financials."

Legere repeated that the plan was absolutely not to "smash together two networks with differing technologies" but to enable the "lower-risk re-farming of the MetroPCS spectrum to higher-efficiency LTE."

Legere also promised that MetroPCS customers will see "dramatically improved coverage and performance as they transition to the NewCo network," as the combined company was referred to.

MetroPCS offers unlimited plans for $40 (the first 500MB of data are at LTE speeds), $50 (the first 2.5GB are at LTE speeds) or $60 a month (LTE all the way, where available).

And if you don't have an iPhone or compatible Android smartphone to bring over, "We have plenty," says MetroPCS.

It sells, among other phones, the Samsung Galaxy S III for $349., the LG Connect 4G for $299, the Huawei Premia 4G for $149 and the HTC Wildfire S for $12

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