|Predecessor(s)||General Wireless, Inc.,
MetroPCS Communications, Inc.
|Founder(s)||Roger D. Linquist and Malcolm Lorang|
|Headquarters||Richardson, Texas, US|
|Area served||United States|
|Key people||Thomas C. Keys, Executive Vice President and chief operating officer of MetroPCS Business Unit|
MetroPCS is a United States prepaid wireless service owned by T-Mobile US. MetroPCS offers nationwide Talk, Text and Data using T-Mobile USA's GSM, HSPA, HSPA+ and 4G LTE networks. MetroPCS also operates the sixth largest mobile telecommunications network in the United States using CDMA technology. The legacy MetroPCS CDMA network is scheduled to be decommissioned by the second half of 2015. Its legacy 4G network using LTE will be integrated with T-Mobile USA's 4G LTE network.
In October 2012, MetroPCS Communications, Inc. reached an agreement to merge with T-Mobile USA, Inc., a deal that would "help the competing provider become more competitive with the other national carriers". The deal was structured as a reverse takeover; following the closure of the merger on May 1, 2013, the combined company, now known as T-Mobile US, Inc., began trading on the New York Stock Exchange as TMUS.
Reception and criticism
The launch of MetroPCS's LTE network was met with mixed reviews. GigaOM's Kevin Tofel noted that although the LTE network is based on 4G technology, "the infrastructure MetroPCS is using keeps speeds in the range of older 3G networks". Tofel measured data speeds "far slower than T-Mobile's HSPA+ network" but considered that users with only basic data requirements would find the no-contract deal "refreshing". Referencing Tofel's review, Laptop Magazine's Corvida Raven concluded that MetroPCS "probably isn't using the best LTE technology."
Slate's Farhad Manjoo panned the service by suggesting that MetroPCS was able to roll out 4G coverage sooner and cheaper than its competitors by offering only the Samsung Craft, a feature phone with sub-standard internet capabilities, as its launch device. Due to the quality of the device (described as being "designed not just to frustrate users but to get us to swear off ever using any phone again"), the network, and MetroPCS's decision to block video streaming services aside from YouTube under its "unlimited web" plan, Manjoo considered it a device designed to disappoint users excited for 4G.
MetroPCS's TV commercial series (from 2010 to 2011) features two Indians "Ranjit" played by veteran actor Anjul Nigam and "Chad" who make fun of American popular culture, which received mixed reviews. Many Indians and Americans found it to be in bad taste and offensive, or even racist. (Due to the controversy, the campaign ended in late 2011 and was replaced with a new campaign slogan, "Everybody's moving to Metro".)
Following the T-Mobile merger, MetroPCS began a national push, running ads with the tagline "Period Power". Although the ads are meant to show that there were no hidden fees in its prepaid plans, many users of social media took to a different meaning of "Period Power", thinking of a woman's menstrual cycle instead of cell phone plans. The ads are still running as of January 2014 despite the negative attention on social media.
- "Leadership Team". MetroPCS / T-Mobile USA. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
- "T-Mobile USA, MetroPCS to combine". Chicago Tribune. October 3, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
- "MetroPCS shareholders approve merger with T-Mobile USA". Reuters. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- Rodriguez, Salvador. (May 1, 2013) Combined T-Mobile-MetroPCS debuts on N.Y. Stock Exchange as 'TMUS'. latimes.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-23.
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- Tofel, Kevin C. (November 26, 2010). "For $55, What Kind of LTE Experience Does MetroPCS Deliver?". GigaOM. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
- Raven, Corvida (November 26, 2010). "MetroPCS's LTE Service Tested, Found Wanting". Laptop Magazine (Bedford Communications Inc). Retrieved December 5, 2010.
- Manjoo, Farhad. "4G, Samsung Craft, MetroPCS: The worst cell phone on earth.". Slate. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
- Edwards, Jim. "It's Racist But It Works: MetroPCS’s "Ranjit and Chad" Commercials Boost Sales". BNET. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
- Best and worst tech commercials of 2013 Fox News Channel (12/09/2013)