Metro by T-Mobile

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Metro by T-Mobile
  • General Wireless, Inc.
  • MetroPCS Communications, Inc.
Company typeDivision
IndustryWireless telecommunications
Founded1994; 30 years ago (1994)
FounderRoger Linquist
Malcolm Lorang
FateAcquired by T-Mobile US in 2012
United States
Area served
United States
Key people
Thomas C. Keys (President) Maria Yniga Inaque Ynez B. Zobel De Ayala
ServicesMobile communications
ParentT-Mobile US (2012-present)
Footnotes / references

Metro by T-Mobile (formerly known as MetroPCS and also simply known as Metro) is an American prepaid virtual wireless service provider and brand owned by T-Mobile US. It previously operated the fifth largest mobile telecommunications network in the United States using code-division multiple access (CDMA). In 2013, the carrier engaged in a reverse merger with T-Mobile US; post-merger, its services were merged under T-Mobile's UMTS and LTE network.[2] Metro by T-Mobile competes primarily against Dish's Boost Mobile, AT&T's Cricket Wireless and Verizon's both Visible and Tracfone as part of the wireless service provider brands.


Early history[edit]

Metro was established in 1994 as General Wireless, Inc., by Roger Linquist and Malcolm Lorang.[3] PCS referred to the industry term, Personal Communications Service. Its service was first launched in 2002.[4][5]

As of February 2005, MetroPCS had about 1.5 million subscribers in the country.[6] At the time, the company operated through 21 licenses in Greater Miami, Tampa, Sarasota, New York City, San Francisco, Atlanta and Sacramento.[7] The company expanded to the Dallas and Detroit areas later that year.[8]

On April 19, 2007, MetroPCS made its stock market debut. Its $50 million share IPO closed at $27.40, for a market cap of $8 billion.[9][10][11] and then expanded over to New York promptly in 2002.

Merger with T-Mobile[edit]

In October 2012, the company, known then as MetroPCS, reached an agreement to merge with T-Mobile USA.[12][13] A reverse merger for MetroPCS, the deal closed on May 1, 2013. The combined company, now known as T-Mobile US, began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.[14][15] On June 21, 2015, the legacy MetroPCS CDMA network was decommissioned, and customers were migrated to the company's LTE network.[16]

At the time of the merger, T-Mobile had about 32 million subscribers, to which MetroPCS added around 9 million.[17]

In 2012, there was a series of armed robberies in Metro stores which was attributed to low security measures.[18] In the same year, T-Mobile and Metro became some of the earliest companies to offer unlimited data plans.[19]


MetroPCS logo from January 2002,[20] until its rebrand in 2018.

On September 24, 2018, T-Mobile announced that it would relaunch the brand as Metro by T-Mobile (a move that would take effect two weeks later),[21] introducing new unlimited plans offering bundled features such as Amazon Prime subscriptions and Google One storage, and announcing that the brand aims to be the first prepaid mobile carrier to offer 5G in 2019.[22] T-Mobile stated that these changes would help to reduce the negative stigmas associated with MetroPCS's prepaid services, by aligning them with other well-known brands as value-added services, and placing a larger emphasis on its use of T-Mobile's network.[23][24] The renamed carrier launched in early October 2018. At the time of the name change, T-Mobile's subscriber number had increased to around 75 million and Metro's had doubled to around 18 million users and had increased their nationwide market reach from around 12 to 100 markets.[17][25]

In November 2022, Metro by T-Mobile would quietly remove the Amazon Prime benefit from their advertised plans for new customers. Current customers would still be grandfathered in and a few new customers could still get Amazon Prime in their plans by calling customer service and have it manually added.

Corporate affairs[edit]


Metro is T-Mobile US's branch of prepaid services, currently offering a large variety of smartphones and four data plans as of March 18, 2019.[26][27]

Metro conducts its operations on their physical store locations only, in contrast with other prepaid brands that offer services on physical locations and online.


In February 2019, the company announced a new long-term advertising campaign featuring Milwaukee Bucks player Giannis Antetokounmpo.[28]


Network quality[edit]

The launch of MetroPCS's LTE network was met with mixed reviews. In November 2010, Gigaom's Kevin Tofel noted that although the LTE network was 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."[29] Referencing Tofel's review, Laptop Mag's Corvida Raven concluded that MetroPCS "probably isn't using the best LTE technology."[30]

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.[31][32]


MetroPCS attracted criticism in 2010 for an advertising campaign featuring two Indian characters, Ranjit and Chad (the former being played by veteran Indian actor Anjul Nigam), hosting a phone-in show titled Tech & Talk. Their content was believed to be stereotypical and offensive.[33][34]

Following the T-Mobile merger, MetroPCS introduced a campaign to highlight its inclusion of all related taxes and fees in advertised prices. The campaign was ridiculed by many people who interpreted an unintended double meaning in the slogan "Period Power", referring to the menstrual cycle.[35]


Metro ranked first in customer experience among the non-contract full-service carriers in the 2018 and 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Non-Contract Performance Studies.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Management & Board of Directors". T-Mobile US. Archived from the original on March 18, 2019. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  2. ^ "Document". Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  3. ^ "20. Roger Linquist, Chairman, CEO, MetroPCS". FierceWireless. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
  4. ^ "Richards to Introduce MetroPCS". October 8, 2001.
  5. ^ "METROPCS INC - 10-K Annual Report - 12/31/2003".
  6. ^ "Metropcs | Brands of the World™ | Download vector logos and logotypes".
  7. ^ "Cingular to sell wireless spectrum to MetroPCS". Milwaukee Business Journal. November 29, 2004. Retrieved May 23, 2023. (subscription required)
  8. ^ "MetroPCS attracts $600M in VC funding". November 30, 1999.
  9. ^ Kim, Sinead Carew (April 19, 2007). "MetroPCS IPO up sharply in market debut". Reuters.
  10. ^ "MetroPCS IPO raises $1.15 billion, shares rally".
  11. ^ Ball, Amol Sharma and Yvonne (April 20, 2007). "IPO of MetroPCS Ends Run Of Poor Telecom Debuts". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  12. ^ "T-Mobile USA, MetroPCS to combine". Chicago Tribune. October 3, 2012. Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  13. ^ Gryta, Thomas (May 1, 2013). "T-Mobile Makes a Fresh Start on Big Board". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  14. ^ Garza, Lisa Maria (April 24, 2013). "MetroPCS shareholders approve merger with T-Mobile USA". Reuters. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  15. ^ Rodriguez, Salvador. (May 1, 2013) Combined T-Mobile-MetroPCS debuts on N.Y. Stock Exchange as 'TMUS'. Retrieved on August 23, 2013.
  16. ^ "T-Mobile shuts down MetroPCS legacy network". RCR Wireless. June 21, 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  17. ^ a b "Metro by T-Mobile: Everything you need to know". January 30, 2019. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  18. ^ Wilson, Michael (January 6, 2012). "MetroPCS a Draw for Bargain Hunters, and Robbers". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  19. ^ "Washington Post: T-Mobile, MetroPCS to launch unlimited 4G data plans". The Washington Post.
  20. ^ T-Mobile USA, Inc. (January 8, 2002). "PERMISSION TO SPEAK FREELY - Trademark Information". TrademarkElite. Retrieved December 14, 2021.
  21. ^ "Metro by T‑Mobile Goes Live, Commits to 5G". T-Mobile US. October 8, 2018. Retrieved December 14, 2021.
  22. ^ "Metro by T-Mobile says it will be first prepaid carrier to offer 5G in 2019". USA TODAY. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  23. ^ "T-Mobile Decides to Make It More Obvious that It Owns MetroPCS". Fortune. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  24. ^ "T-Mobile's Metro prepaid wireless service commits to 5G in 2019". CNET. October 8, 2018. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  25. ^ "T-Mobile Decides to Make It More Obvious that It Owns MetroPCS". Fortune. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  26. ^ "Metro data plans". Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  27. ^ "3 Important Facts Every MetroPCS User Needs to Know". April 9, 2020. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  28. ^ "Giannis adds endorsement deal with Metro by T-Mobile". Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  29. ^ Tofel, Kevin C. (November 26, 2010). "For $55, What Kind of LTE Experience Does MetroPCS Deliver?". GigaOM. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
  30. ^ Raven, Corvida (November 26, 2010). "MetroPCS's LTE Service Tested, Found Wanting". Laptop Mag. Future plc. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  31. ^ Manjoo, Farhad (February 3, 2011). "4G, Samsung Craft, MetroPCS: The worst cell phone on earth". Slate. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
  32. ^ jillian.breska (February 13, 2019). "2019 U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Performance Studies". J.D. Power. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  33. ^ "Did this MetroPCS ad make the tech world cringe?". CNET. February 8, 2010. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  34. ^ Poniewozik, James (February 7, 2010). "The Best and Worst Super Bowl Commercials of 2010". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  35. ^ "13 Best & Worst Tech Commercials of 2013". Laptop Magazine. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  36. ^ crescent.seward (February 12, 2018). "2018 U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Studies -- Vol. 1". J.D. Power. Retrieved February 21, 2019.

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