T-Mobile previously announced that it plans to shut down MetroPCS’s CDMA network by 2015 and repurpose the spectrum to expand its 4G LTE coverage. The carrier revealed last week that its plan to migrate subscribers from CDMA to HSPA+ and devices is already ahead of schedule, however, and it’s trying to entice customers to switch networks by launching a “Bring Your Own Phone” program in Boston, Dallas, Las Vegas and Hartford that allows customers to bring an unlocked smartphone to use on T-Mobile’s network.
T-Mobile previously said that it is on pace to cover 100 million people with LTE by the end of June and 200 million by the end of 2013. Additionally, the company has combined its 1700 MHz AWS spectrum with MetroPCS’s AWS network in Las Vegas to expand its coverage and give users access to faster speeds. The carrier expects to combine its spectrum in more markets in the coming months. T-Mobile’s press release follows below.
Migration of MetroPCS Customers to Nationwide 4G HSPA+ and LTE Network Ahead of Schedule
First devices connecting to 4G HSPA+ and LTE network become available for MetroPCS customers, offering a consistently outstanding wireless experience
BELLEVUE, Wash. — June 14, 2013 — Just six weeks after completing the combination of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) today announced the migration of MetroPCS customers onto its 4G HSPA+ and LTE network is ahead of planned schedule. This migration will provide customers of both brands deeper LTE deployment and faster network performance – delivering on the benefits of the combined company.
“The moment that NYSE bell rang on May 1, we put it into high gear and hit the gas,” said John Legere, president and chief executive officer of T-Mobile US, Inc. “We’ve already begun moving MetroPCS customers to our blazing-fast network. The best part is as they upgrade their phones, their wireless experience immediately gets better.”
The company is making HSPA+ and LTE compatible devices available to MetroPCS customers as well as allowing them to bring their own unlocked compatible HSPA+ or LTE phone, providing them the opportunity to upgrade to a powerful 4G network. With approximately 60 percent of MetroPCS customers upgrading their phones every year, it is expected that migration of customers will continue at a rapid pace. The company expects full customer migration to be complete by the end of 2015.
MetroPCS customers in Boston, Las Vegas and Hartford, Conn. can now purchase two new HSPA+ Android™-powered cutting-edge smartphones running on a nationwide 4G network, the LG Optimus L9TM and Samsung Galaxy ExhibitTM. On June 17, MetroPCS will also make available a refreshed version of the Samsung Galaxy S® III, which will take advantage of 4G LTE in addition to a nationwide 4G HSPA+ network1.
Additionally, MetroPCS launched a “Bring Your Own Phone” program in these markets, as well as Dallas, giving customers the option to bring their own compatible unlocked phone to gain access to the 4G HSPA+ and LTE network.
Migrating MetroPCS customers will also benefit customers of T-Mobile. As customers leave the MetroPCS network, the freed up spectrum can then be added to the company’s growing 4G LTE network. Deploying the company’s spectrum on a single network provides a path to double its initial super-fast 4G LTE deployment (to 20+20 MHz of 4G LTE) in approximately 90 percent of the top 25 metro areas planned for 2014 and beyond.
Indeed, just two weeks after becoming one company, T-Mobile leveraged the compatibility of existing MetroPCS 4G LTE handsets and enabled them to connect to its 4G LTE network in Las Vegas. This allowed the company to combine MetroPCS’ 4G LTE spectrum with T-Mobile’s spectrum, doubling the LTE spectrum deployment in Las Vegas and dramatically increasing data speeds for both T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers with capable devices. As the company’s 4G LTE network expands to more cities, T-Mobile will continue to migrate MetroPCS customers with 4G LTE-capable handsets and leverage MetroPCS’ spectrum to deepen the combined company’s LTE coverage.
Independent third party tests of the company’s 4G LTE in Las Vegas conducted before and after the addition of MetroPCS spectrum show that its 4G LTE has the fastest average download speeds in the city, with an increase of nearly 50 percent.
1 Coverage not available everywhere. Broad LTE coverage planned for 2013. Capable device and qualifying service required for 4G HSPA+ and LTE. LTE is a trademark of ETSI.