On Friday, T-Mobile announced that it has started migrating MetroPCS customers onto its network just six weeks after the closing of the transaction that brought the pre-paid carrier to T-Mobile. This is ahead of schedule and brings faster LTE deployment for customers of both carriers (remember, MetroPCS has its own LTE pipeline) along with faster network speeds. Just two weeks after the deal closed, MetroPCS' LTE handsets were connecting to T-Mobile's LTE pipeline in Las Vegas. Both carriers combined their 4G LTE network in the area, bringing a 50% increase in LTE speeds.
T-Mobile's outspoken CEO, John Legere, said as soon as the deal took effect and MetroPCS' shares became T-Mobile, the latter started the migration. With 60% of MetroPCS customers upgrading to a new phone each year, and with T-Mobile offering some of its 4G LTE and HSPA+ handsets to MetroPCS subscribers, the migration should be complete by 2015. T-Mobile customers benefit from the migration because as soon as MetroPCS customers leave for T-Mobile, the freed up spectrum can be used by T-Mobile to help build out its 4G LTE pipeline.
This week, MetroPCS also announced its BYOP plan that will allow unlocked GSM phones running Android and Windows Phone to access the network. Additionally, specific versions of the Apple iPhone will be accepted for the plan.
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(TM)-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.
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