Light Reading

MetroPCS LTE Revamp Set for 2012

Sarah Thomas
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        ADD A COMMENT
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat Demo

7|2|15   |   10:53   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Nicolas Lemieux demonstrates how Red Hat is driving innovation through open source communities.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat's Approach to OpenStack Adoption

7|2|15   |   5:17   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Radhesh Balakrishnan outlines his company's open source strategy for both enterprises and telcos.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Goes Mobile With vEPC

7|2|15   |   1:12   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Gabriel Brown discusses results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade that shows a clear commitment by mobile operators to move quickly to virtual EPC deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Business Sense of SDN

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Results of a Brocade-sponsored survey show that CSPs have a clear sense of SDN use cases but are wrestling with the business case. Sterling Perrin of Heavy Reading looks behind the numbers.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think

7|2|15   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Forget the usual ten-year cycle for new technologies – NFV will be a core part of CSP networks in five years, based on results of a Brocade-sponsored survey, says Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Gains Traction With CSPs

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro of Heavy Reading analyzes results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade showing that CSPs are getting serious about making the transition to the New IP era.
LRTV Custom TV
It's (Real) Time for Analytics

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges looks at how CSPs say they plan to use analytics to deploy new services in real time as part of The New IP, based on results of a survey sponsored by Brocade.
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (7) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (1) comment


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
Colt to Jettison Ailing IT Business
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/30/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
What's a Gigabit Good For?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/1/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones