Light Reading
Regional LTE provider says handset prices will drop in mid-2012 as it looks to complete its 4G rollout and tout its new network

MetroPCS LTE Revamp Set for 2012

Sarah Reedy
LR Mobile News Analysis
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor
10/25/2011
50%
50%

CHICAGO -- 4G World 2011 -- Long Term Evolution (LTE) has gotten off to a rocky start for first mover MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS), but the regional carrier expects all that to change by mid-2012. At that time, its network deployment will be complete, handset prices will fall significantly and its marketing will get a makeover.

These are the promises that MetroPCS COO Tom Keys made during a 4G World keynote on Tuesday. Keys touted the flat-rate operator's milestones as the first to launch LTE, as well as offer the first LTE handset in the U.S. and first Android-based LTE device in the world. But, he admitted, MetroPCS still has lots of work to do. (See Leap's 3G Trumps Metro's 4G/2G Mashup.)

"We realized that when we launched our services, the handsets didn’t have a large processor; the network was robust but didn't have the backhaul," Keys said. "The experience was OK. We know we have more to do."

To stay relevant as its larger competitors deploy LTE, Keys said cheaper handsets are table stakes and that pricing has to get to the $100 unit range by mid-2012. At that point, he said, MetroPCS's network will be fully deployed with a Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) of small cells to support it, as well as improved backhaul.

"By 2012, we'll be able to transfer customers from 1x CDMA to LTE," Keys said. "We'll be able to find new customers."

Part of that will include new marketing with a focus on the family plan and local markets, since Keys said much of its customer acquisition comes from word of mouth. MetroPCS will launch a new campaign in the beginning of next year, but by mid-2012 will completely revamp to focus on the virtues of the network, quality and handset pricing.

"We need to change how the campaign looks -- make it more inclusive, show the value and why it's okay to not have a contract," he said. "And show MetroPCS is not for one segment, but it's LTE for all."

MetroPCS is going after an increasingly large group of consumers that don't have a choice when it comes to mobility. They still want high-end capabilities, but value is their most important consideration, Keys said. It is adding features like Metro Studio, its TV service, on low-cost handsets to appeal to both groups. It's also planning to implement voice over LTE in future handsets, but Keys admitted the carrier will need more spectrum. (See MetroPCS Explores Spectrum Options and MetroPCS Seeks 'LTE for All' Spectrum.)

"Since our LTE launch, we realized we're not there yet," Keys admitted. "The next step is LTE for all."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Microgenesis on Huawei's Switches

9|19|14   |   3:57   |   (0) comments


Microgenesis is a solutions and system integrator company in the Philippines whose areas of expertise include data centers, networking and security products. In this video, Executive Director Jeffrey Choa talks to us about his customers needs and they benefit from using Huawei switches.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (1) comment


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
AT&T: We'll Bundle Fixed Wireless & DirecTV
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/15/2014
New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
NFV & The Data Center: Top 10 Takeaways
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/18/2014
Connecticut Cities Crowdsource Gigabit Nets
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/15/2014
Pics: LR's Women in Telecom Breakfast
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed