Boston, Dallas, Hartford, Las Vegas first to offer unlocked device service
MetroPCS has launched its Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) service, and is starting with a small initial area rollout. Rumored earlier this month, the BYOP service will allow customers to bring unlocked GSM devices they already own to the carrier, and will initially work in Boston, Dallas, Hartford, and Las Vegas before becoming more widely available.
Adds two GSM phones to roster, will allow unlocked GSM devices on network
MetroPCS will soon start to allow customers to use the T-Mobile GSM network instead of the existing CDMA one, according to leaked internal documents. The carrier will be adding two new GSM devices to its catalog in the near future, following its successful merger with T-Mobile, and will start offering a Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) service for GSM devices.
Withdrawal filed to not burden combined company with pending suit
In a court motion filed earlier today, MetroPCS is dropping its net neutrality opposition lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission. The company filed a motion for voluntary dismissal, leaving Verizon to willingly fight the decree and US government on its own.
CEO says Metro iPhone 'not imminent,' but is discussing options
The now-official merger of T-Mobile and MetroPCS into T-Mobile US will not immediately change options for no-contract MetroPCS customers in the way of being able to upgrade to an iPhone under their present arrangements, CEO John Legere said in an interview. While not closing the door on either changes to MetroPCS policies or a no-contract iPhone option in the future, Legere said that MetroPCS' nine million customers will not see iPhones offered anytime soon. He also mentioned that the company is discussing the matter with Apple.
Final merger confirmed one week after MetroPCS shareholder vote
T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS have now completed their merger, and are now one company. The formation of the new entity, known as T-Mobile US and trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TMUS, comes one week after MetroPCS shareholders voted to approve the merger after some improvements, a process which started in October last year.
Shareholder vote succeeds after Deutsche Telekom sweetens deal
Shareholders of MetroPCS have reportedly approved the merger of the carrier with the fourth-largest mobile phone network, the Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Mobile USA. A shareholder vote for the proposal is the last hurdle for the merger to take place, after both the FCC and Department of Justice gave their approval last month with no negative commentary.
Change in proposal forces delay in MetroPCS shareholder vote
Deutsche Telekom has updated its proposal to merge T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS with more favorable financial terms, in an effort to get shareholders to vote for the deal. The changes to the proposal, which has been deemed its "best and final offer," has forced MetroPCS to delay the final shareholder vote until April 24th.
Huawei smartphone offers 4-inch touchscreen, $150 price tag
MetroPCS has added to its roster of 4G LTE devices with a new smartphone from Huawei, following on from the $150 Activa 4G launched by the carrier last year. The Premia 4G has a 4-inch touchscreen display than its predecessor, with an 800x480-pixel resolution and Gorilla Glass protection, and is powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz processor with 1GB of RAM.
Combined carrier will provide service to 33.2 million customers
Earlier today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allowed T-Mobile's parent company Deutsche Telekom to merge its US wireless division with MetroPCS. The FCC believes that the combination will speed LTE deployment, expand MetroPCS into new markets, and overall build a stronger and faster national telecommunications network. The deal, announced in October, would see the nation's fourth-largest carrier merging with its fifth-largest. MetroPCS' 9.3 million-strong customer base would be added to T-Mobile's existing 33.2 million customers
US DOJ allows 30-day antitrust waiting period to expire unhindered
The merger between T-Mobile and MetroPCS has been given the go-ahead to proceed by the United States Department of Justice. A 30-day waiting period, put in place by antitrust laws, has expired without the DoJ offering any objections to the merger, which would see the combined Deutsche Telekom-owned carrier and MetroPCS further embed T-Mobile's position as the fourth largest US carrier.
Poor results could hamper impending MetroPCS merger vote
T-Mobile USA lost profits, and customers in the fourth quarter of 2012, though increased its level of revenue from the previous quarter, according to recently-released company reports. Total revenues of $4.9 billion resembles a 5.2-percent drop year-on-year, with income dropping by a quarter to $1.05 billion compared to the same quarter in the previous year.
Unlimited web, throttled speeds
T-Mobile has quietly launched a prepaid cellular service marketed under the brand GoSmart Mobile. As noted by Reuters, the Deutsche Telekom division has partnered with smaller player MetroPCS to rival prepaid services offered by US competitors. GoSmart takes a slightly different approach than other services, however, bringing unlimited usage but throttling the data speeds on the cheapest plan.
Includes 5-megapixel camera, Cheese Shutter feature
MetroPCS has added the LG Spirit 4G to its growing roster of LTE-capable smartphones. The spiritual successor to the LG Motion 4G, Esteem, and Connect 4G, the Spirit 4G offers a 4.5-inch touchscreen with a 960x540-resolution and protection via Gorilla Glass, as well as connectivity to the carrier's 4G LTE network.
All plan tiers include unlimited calls, texts
MetroPCS has announced a set of wireless contracts for 4G LTE with a focus on simplicity, including one with unlimited data. The new mobile phone plans all include unlimited voice minutes and texts, and offer three different tiers of service, with the only differentiation being the amount of 4G data usage is permitted each month on the subscription.
T-Mobile has issued its third quarterly report for the year, which shows a shift in its customer base from contracts to prepaid services. Although the company's customer base shows a total of 160,000 more customers thanks to the iPhone 5 launch, the higher-revenue postpaid customer base has dropped by 492,000. This reduced the Average Revenue Per User to $42.78, over seven percent lower year-on-year.
MetroPCS has passed the 1 million 4G LTE subscriber barrier, according to its third quarter results. The milestone represents approximately 12-percent of the company's total subscriber base of 9 million, itself lower than the previous quarter by over 312,000 customers, down 2-percent from the same quarter last year.
Galaxy S III will be the most powerful handset ever offered by MetroPCS
MetroPCS will begin offering the Samsung Galaxy S III handset on Monday, October 22, as promised. The regional carrier will sell the handset for $500 without a contract, while the high-speed LTE data plans from MetroPCS range from $30 to $70 per month. Its arrival will mark a significant milestone at MetroPCS, as it will be the most powerful, expensive, and fully-featured handset ever offered.
Significant issues still to be finalized
T-Mobile USA's parent company has confirmed that it is in talks to buy MetroPCS Communications, and spokespersons from MetroPCS have confirmed that the talks are ongoing. The Boston Herald reported earlier today that the two carriers, might be looking to merge, though such an act would still leave T-Mobile trailing Sprint, the third-largest carrier in the nation. The talks are said to be ongoing, though Deutsche Telekom AG, the German company that owns T-Mobile USA, says that there are still "significant issues" to be finalized and a decision on the deal has not yet been made.
Huawei Activa 4G at MetroPCS becomes the least expensive 4G LTE smartphone
MetroPCS is now offering the least expensive 4G LTE-capable phone on the market with the Huawei Activa 4G. Priced at just $149 without a contract, the phone is currently the price champ, though the price is said to be on for a limited time. The price does include a $50 mail-in rebate, however, so buyers will need to fork out $200 initially.
AT&T fires back
Several regional carriers, including US Cellular and MetroPCS, have filed a report with the Federal Communications Commission that calls into question AT&T's justification for avoiding interoperability between LTE networks that operate on 700 MHz spectrum bands. AT&T established a separate band class that supports its own LTE devices, citing potential interference issues with adjacent broadcast television channels, however the regional carriers claim such interference is not a threat and AT&T's move serves instead to exclude the smaller players from the market.
T-Mobile still opposed to Verizon spectrum buy, says Philipp Humm
T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm went on record on Thursday to say the carrier isn't interested in acquiring Verizon's 700MHz spectrum if it can buy its own. During a conference call, SlashGear reported, Humm told investors and reporters that the 700MHz block C spectrum isn't enough for T-Mobile to expand its offerings. He added that incorporating it into its business and hardware would take between three to six years.
MetroPCS delivers mixed Q1 2012 results
MetroPCS has recorded a mixed first quarter result gaining 132,000 new users, but seeing profits slump 63 percent over the same period last year. Gross income was up at $1.3 billion against $1.2 billion against the same period last year, however the costly rollout of its new 4G network had an adverse impact on its bottom. This was compounded by what it called an increase in the ‘retention expense’ of attracting new users, which it calculated as being 16 percent higher than in the past.
MetroPCS makes over data plan tiers, intros caps
MetroPCS has just revamped its LTE smartphone plans. The unlimited plan is up by $10 per month, now at $70, and is the only one whose speeds won't be throttled. It does include unlimited voice, texting, and data, however, along with the MetroSTUDIO Video on Demand service. The option has disappeared to pick between MetroSTUDIO and Rhapsody Unlimited.
FCC moves on possibly mandating 700MHz unity
The FCC in an Open Commission Meeting Wednesday morning unanimously voted to pursue possibilities for significantly improving 4G's use in the US. It would verify whether there would be any adverse effect to making the 700MHz A, B, and C blocks of spectrum interoperable, letting one roam on the other. Agency officials would want outside input on what the rules would be if there were little to no interference, as well as whether any interference might be cut back.
Revision brings many improvements
MetroPCS is said to be preparing to launch LG's Optimus M+ handset, which serves as a successor to the original Optimus M. The device is claimed to offer a number of improvements, including a larger 3.5-inch display with a wider color range, Bluetooth 3.0 and a 5.0-megapixel camera sensor with flash, unnamed sources have told Pocketnow.
ZTE N910 with LTE gets FCC approval
Chinese maker ZTE has successfully run its upcoming N910 LTE smartphone through the FCC. Introduced before last month's Mobile World Congress, the phone should sport a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 4.3-inch, 480x800 touchscreen, and Android 4.0. In FCC form, it received AWS Band IV and PCS Band II LTE support, meaning it will likely show up at smaller carriers such as Cricket or MetroPCS.
T-Mobile sends letter to FCC for 4G LTE roaming
T-Mobile USA has sent a letter to the FCC (PDF), asking it that all 700MHz LTE bands are interoperable between carriers. Such a move would motivate roaming and help the public in terms of safety, T-Mobile wrote. A meeting is scheduled for next week, at which the FCC will decide whether the interference between 700MHz B and C block operations could be mitigated if the lower band were to be made interoperable.
Cricket parent Leap wholesales Clearwire LTE
Cricket's parent company Leap on Wednesday struck a deal with Clearwire to use its upcoming LTE network. The five-year pact will let Cricket users run on Clearwire's 4G in addition to the network Cricket itself plans to build. The expansion would give extra capacity where it was needed to help cope with demand, Leap chief Doug Hutcheson said.
C Spire outlines more definitive LTE plans
C Spire gave out more definitive plans for its delayed LTE rollout on Thursday. The regional carrier will focus on Mississippi and cover both the core of Jackson, the Gulf Coast, and 23 individual towns. Among the examples include Hattiesburg, Tupelo, and West Point.
Decision could strip FCC of any regulatory clout
Verizon and MetroPCS will be able to move forward with their lawsuit against the FCC and its net neutrality rules. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to hear the case. The FCC had argued that the court didn't have jurisdiction in the matter.
Sprint broke off last minute MetroPCS deal
Sprint had been on the edge of buying MetroPCS, according to claims late Friday. The deal, said by CNBC to have been worth $8 billion, was broken off hours before it would have been made public. CEO Dan Hesse is believed to have greenlit the deal, only to have the board reject it.
Commitment to VoLTE still there, but timing slips
MetroPCS will be adding Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services during the second half of this year. The flat-rate wireless provider's CEO, Roger Linquist, revealed this during his quarterly analyst conference call to discuss the company's most recent financial results. He indicated that the company plans on offering at least one phone capable of supporting VoLTE.
$40 LTE plan back at MetroPCS on more phones
MetroPCS this week brought back its Unlimited $40 per month plan for 4G handsets. It's available on the Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G, LG Esteem, and Samsung Galaxy Indulge smartphones, which were only previously available with the $50 or $60 LTE plans. The same unlimited web browsing and YouTube access in addition to the same unlimited talk and text as before is included.
LTE plans now start at $50 for Android Lineup
MetroPCS has dropped its lowest-cost "unlimited" LTE wireless phone plan. The no-contract carrier first offered the $40 LTE plan last January. Its lowest price for voice, text, and enhanced LTE data services is now $50 per month.
MetroPCS will launch Samsung Mobile TV phone
Cellphone carrier MetroPCS on Wednesday announced it will bring out phones with built-in mobile TV tuners later in 2012. These signals are sent out from certain TV stations and are Mobile DTV signals. The first device to use the ATSC Mobile technology at MetroPCS will be from Samsung, in the form of an as-yet unnamed premium Android device.
Handset also slated for Verizon
LG appears to be readying yet another LTE-equipped handset, the Connect 4G MS840, which is reportedly on its way to metroPCS. The smartphone is said to integrate a four-inch display with 800x480 resolution, paired with a dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM.
ATT makes no progress on T-Mo asset sale offers
AT&T isn't making any progress in its attempts to sell T-Mobile assets to rescue its attempted buyout of T-Mobile, insiders uncovered Sunday. Discussions with smaller carriers have reportedly "gone cold," the Wall Street Journal heard. Among other problems, attempts to sell assets to Leap for its Cricket service fell as doubts existed that even this could salvage AT&T's proposed T-Mobile merger.
US Cellular next to jump to LTE
US Cellular has become the next major US carrier to plan out an upgrade to LTE-based 4G. The regional carrier plans to deploy the faster network starting from early 2012 and plans to cover a handful of cities in Iowa, Wisconsin, Maine, North Carolina, Texas, and Oklahoma. Among the highlight will be Des Moines, Greenville, Milauwkee, and Portland, although most will have more than one city covered.
C Spire bars streaming on some iPhone plans
(Updated with policy notes) C Spire on Tuesday said it would join the third iPhone 4S launch wave by releasing its version on November 11. The device, as well as the 8GB iPhone 4, will go on sale at the same contract prices as on other carriers. No mention has been made of an off-contract option.
AT&T woos buyer for potential divestment markets
AT&T has reportedly established a deal with MetroPCS that will give the latter company top priority to purchase divested assets that may be required to finalize the former's T-Mobile buyout proposal. AT&T is said to have approached a number of potential suitors as government agencies scrutinize the acquisition.
Galaxy Nexus US page hints every US carrier onside
A now active signup page for the Galaxy Nexus has given a chance the Android 4.0 phone might arrive on most US carriers. The carrier preference drop-down gives the option not just for the Verizon LTE model but also AT&T, C Spire (Cellular South), MetroPCS, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. Only niche or 'virtual' carriers like TracFone and Virgin Mobile are out of the list.
LTE, Android phone targets multimedia fans
officially launched its latest 4G LTE-enabled phone, the LG Esteem. The carrier is targeting the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) based smartphone towards "entertainment-minded" customers. Information on the Esteem was originally leaked last Thursday.
Free Press petitions FCC for tougher neutrality
Public advocacy group Free Press put forward a formal petition for review (below) of the FCC's net neutrality rules before they take effect November 20. The group said the rules were too light on the mobile Internet as they only included a basic no-block rule and transparency on monitoring, not a guarantee that all legal traffic should be treated fairly. With cellular gaining ground, the argument that wireless was too new didn't work.
Smartphone to fetch $249 after rebate
MetroPCS appears to be readying LG's rumored Esteem handset to operate on the carrier's LTE network. Image leaks, taken from the LG Partner Portal and posted by Androidcentral, suggest the device will offer a midrange set of smartphone features, including a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and a 4.3-inch LCD with 800x480 resolution.
LVL tries carpet bomb lawsuit to make profit
Largely unknown patent holder LVL Patent Group late last week quietly sued much of the US cellphone business and beyond for alleged patent violations (below). It claims that the iPhone, many Android devices, Symbian, and basic feature phones as well as their carriers violate one or more of a group of four generic patents, including data transaction servers and devices for entering transactions. Most of the patents were issued in or before 2000, but one of the device patents was only live on September 13, two days before the lawsuit was filed.
ATT may sell assets to MetroPCS and Leap
AT&T is now talking directly with MetroPCS and Cricket's parent company Leap in an attempt to save its now seriously threatened buyout of T-Mobile, a pair of sources divulged Monday. The carrier is hoping to sell customer bases and wireless spectrum licenses to its smaller sometime-competitors in hopes of reaching a settlement, Bloomberg said. Bank of America is being tapped specifically to help negotiate the deal.
New FCC rules limit throttling, content blocking
The White House Office of Management and Budget approved the Federal Communication Commission's proposed net neutrality rules on Friday, setting the stage for a certain court challenge by wireless broadband providers. Verizon and MetroPCS have already tried to block the new rules in Federal court once, as soon as they were announced. Those cases were dismissed on appeal in April, with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruling that any challenges would be premature until the regulations had been published in the Federal Register. Publication generally happens within three weeks of approval by OMB.
Handset to feature Cricket's Muve Music service
Cricket Wireless has announced that it is set to launch Samsung's Vitality handset, which will be the company's first Android device to offer Muve Music service. The introduction confirms earlier rumors pointing to a new handset that is nearly identical to the Admire handset offered through competing carrier MetroPCS.
Samsung Vitality with Muve Music due at Cricket
A new Samsung phone, the Vitality, has shown up in a computer-based Cricket training manual and has been shared online by Engadget. It's a near-twin to MetroPCS' Admire, sharing the same 800MHz CPU, 3.5-inch 320x480 touchscreen and a 3.2-megapixel camera. It will run on Android 2.3.
Dish asks FCC to grant hybrid network permission
Dish Network is asking the FCC to allow it to combine the S-Band spectrum licenses it acquired with its $1.38 billion purchase of TerreStar Networks and DBSD North America to offer terrestrial-only devices. This is part of a larger goal of offering a satellite-terrestrial 4G network that uses LTE-Advanced. Dish claims this hybrid network that will use the 40MHz spectrum under a subsidiary called Gamma will help meet the FCC's goal of expanding broadband access. Dish cited the conditional waiver the FCC gave to LightSquared as a reason it should get its request granted.