MetroPCS needs more time to perfect VoLTE; carrier introduces ZTE Anthem 4G LTE

MetroPCS needs more time to perfect VoLTE; carrier introduces ZTE Anthem 4G LTE
MetroPCS has been working on offering Voice over LTE for its customers in the 14 markets where it offers LTE service. Unfortunately for those customers who had been looking forward to the improved voice quality with VoLTE, the carrier says that it will need another 4 to 6 months to "fine tune" the technology. MetroPCS has already launched the service in the Dallas-Ft. Worth market. The carrier has a plan which is to take the spectrum it saves by switching calls to VoLTE and refarming that CDMA spectrum for LTE use.

MetroPCS now has 1 million customers using its LTE service, up from the 700,000 it had in July. The company says that its churn rate for LTE accounts is just 1%, well under the carrier's total churn rate of  3.4% in the second quarter. Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference, MetroPCS CEO  Roger Linquist says that offering LTE service has given the company freedom to to be opportunistic when looking to add more spectrum. Even though the company has $1.9 billion in the bank, the refarming strategy has reduced the urgency to purchase spectrum now. This way the carrier does not have to respond in a knee-jerk manner and can be more strategic with its spectrum purchases.

Lindquist also added that he doesn't want customers to think that just because new technology is coming in, that they will have to toss their current handset. The executive said that updates will come to the LTE phones that Metro is offering now so that these models will be able to offer the new features and faster speeds that new LTE technology brings. In the meantime, MetroPCS is using low priced phones and promotions to get more of its customers to switch to LTE.

For example, today MetroPCS introduced the ZTE Anthem 4G LTE, which is the first LTE enabled phone made by the Chinese based manufacturer for the U.S. market. The device has a 4.3 inch WVGA screen with a 217ppi pixel density.and is powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.  Android 2.3 (!) is installed. MetroPCS will sell the ZTE Anthem 4G LTE for $219 in the coming weeks.

MetroPCS does have an unlimited talk, text and data plan over LTE for $55 per month which the carrier says beats competing plans from other carriers like Verizon. The $55 unlimited plan is a nice price cut from the original $70 rate. Even though you get unlimited everything for $55, the deal itself is for an  limited time only. If you've been thinking about joining MetroPCS, this might be your best time.

source: MetroPCS via  FierceWireless

Related phones

Anthem 4G
  • Display 4.3 inches 800 x 480 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP (Single camera) 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 0.5GB RAM
  • Storage 2.3GB, microSDHC
  • Battery 1780 mAh
  • OS Android 2.3

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