MetroPCS a regional carrier in the USA and a leading provider of unlimited, flat-rate, no contract service announced today that it has selected its infrastructure and initial handset vendors for its second half 2010 LTE launch.
MetroPCS selected Ericsson as its infrastructure vendor for the launch of its LTE service. This is Ericsson's second major LTE vendor win in the US market (the first being the contract secured with Verizon Wireless) and further evidence of the company's strengthening position in North America. In addition, MetroPCS has also selected Samsung Telecommunications America, which is actually the number one mobile phone provider in the USA to provide the Company's initial LTE handset. They plan on offering LTE services and a dual-mode LTE/CDMA smartphones in their major metropolitan markets in late 2010. This will be before Verizon starts to offer its own dual mode handset, which is planned for 2011.
MetroPCS has successfully encouraged customers to "cut the cord" on their landline phones by introducing their unlimited, flat-rate, no signed contract plans. MetroPCS offers a diverse selection of service plans, which allow customers to talk 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week and currently serves 5.4 million customers. With MetroPCS, services do not require a signed contract, deposit or credit check! This type of pricing seems set to continue with the launch of LTE, even though it has been called disruptive by some in the industry. It will be interesting to see what sort of pricing plans other operators adopt for LTE and whether tariffs will be as diverse as MetroPCS's. A diverse selection of service plans should help to encourage the uptake of LTE even if there is a lack of variety with the devices available early on.
The Staff VP for LTE, Solyman Ashrafi will be speaking at the LTE Americas conference on the 4th and 5th of November in Dallas.