|Predecessor(s)||General Wireless, Inc.,
MetroPCS Communications, Inc.
|Founder(s)||Roger D. Linquist and Malcolm Lorang|
|Headquarters||Richardson, Texas, U.S.A|
|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.
MetroPCS Communications launched its 3G network in late 2009 and its LTE network in late 2010. In August 2012, MetroPCS became the first carrier in the world to officially launch Voice over LTE service. Initially compatible with the LG Connect 4G, MetroPCS announced that more VoLTE-compatible phones would be available soon. Later in the month, the company unveiled a new $55 unlimited plan (with unlimited talk, text messaging, and data) as a limited-time offer.
Merger with T-Mobile USA
On October 3, 2012, MetroPCS Communications reached an agreement to merge with T-Mobile USA, subject to regulatory and shareholder approval. MetroPCS shareholders would hold a 26% stake in the merged company. While the merged company will still be the fourth largest carrier in the United States, acquiring MetroPCS would give T-Mobile access to more spectrum and financial resources to maintain competitiveness and expand its own LTE network.
On October 18, 2012, both T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS Communications submitted official filings to the FCC seeking approval for their anticipated merger. The companies indicated that they would have a combined total of 200.5 million customers following the merger, covering 11.7% of the US wireless market. That number is comparative to the 58.5% combined share of AT&T and Verizon and Sprint’s 15.2%. The new company will continue to use the T-Mobile name and keep MetroPCS as a secondary brand, which will also expand into additional cities. The merger was officially approved by MetroPCS Communications shareholders on April 24, 2013, and completed on May 1, 2013, as the combined company began trading as T-Mobile US Inc.
On June 12, 2013, MetroPCS became a MVNO when it began offering products and services in select markets using T-Mobile's GSM and "4G" HSPA+ wireless networks. On June 18, 2012, MetroPCS released a variant of the Samsung Galaxy S III which offers an additional access to T-Mobile's 4G LTE network. T-Mobile US plans to have the CDMA network decommissioned by the second half of 2015 and all current customers are expected to have been moved onto the expanded T-Mobile networks.
Since the merger with T-Mobile, MetroPCS became a virtual operator providing service using T-Mobile's nationwide GSM/HSPA+/LTE network. For the status of the former-MetroPCS CDMA/LTE network, see T-Mobile US' radio frequency spectrum chart.
All plans include Unlimited Data, Talk, Text, Voicemail, Caller ID, Call Waiting, 3-Way Calling, Short Codes and Alerts, Premium Directory Assistance, Visual Voicemail, and joyn by MetroPCS. $40 per month includes First 500MB of 4G Data, $50 per month includes First 2.5GB of 4G Data, $60 per month includes Unlimited 4G Data. Add friends and family to your plan and save $5 per line.
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 4 May 2013.
- "T-Mobile USA, MetroPCS to combine". Chicago Tribune. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
- "MetroPCS shareholders approve merger with T-Mobile USA". Reuters. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- Rodriguez, Salvador. (2013-05-01) Combined T-Mobile-MetroPCS debuts on N.Y. Stock Exchange as 'TMUS'. latimes.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-23.
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- "MetroPCS Claims World's First Voice-over-LTE Service". PC World. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
- "MetroPCS Intros $55 Unlimited 4G Data Plan, LG Motion 4G". AllThingsD. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
- "T-Mobile USA merging with MetroPCS". Los Angeles Time. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2012.[dead link]
- "T-Mobile and MetroPCS Merger". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- Shields, Todd (20 October 2012). "T-Mobile Asks U.S. FCC to Approve Merger With MetroPCS". Bloomberg. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
- MetroPCS To Launch T-Mobile Powered Devices And BYOD Later This Month. PhoneNews.com (2013-06-03). Retrieved on 1996-08-23.
- Tofel, Kevin C. (Nov 26, 2010). "For $55, What Kind of LTE Experience Does MetroPCS Deliver?". GigaOM. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
- Raven, Corvida (Nov 26, 2010). "MetroPCS’s LTE Service Tested, Found Wanting". Laptop Magazine (Bedford Communications Inc). Retrieved 5 December 2010.
- Manjoo, Farhad. "4G, Samsung Craft, MetroPCS: The worst cell phone on earth.". Slate. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
- Edwards, Jim. "It’s Racist But It Works: MetroPCS’s "Ranjit and Chad" Commercials Boost Sales". BNET. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- Best and worst tech commercials of 2013 Fox News Channel (12/09/2013)