MetroPCS Gets to Work on LTE Phones

MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS) is already working with ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) to create handsets that can take advantage of the next generation of mobile broadband, executives said.

These smartphones will likely have a large screen and a high-end mobile browser in order to better take advantage of the download speeds Long Term Evolution offers. The companies have not given a timetable for the release of the 4G-capable smartphones, but they would likely launch with the carrier's LTE deployment that's schedule for late 2010 or early 2011.

The move is somewhat of a departure for MetroPCS, which is known for its prepaid services that offer unlimited voice and text messages without a contract. The company primarily offers a slate of entry-level handsets, and it just recently got its first smartphone with the release of the BlackBerry Curve 8330.

The carrier is looking to invest in LTE networks to diversify its offerings, as it would potentially be able to provide prepaid mobile broadband, as well as sophisticated smartphones at a low monthly price.

"Quite frankly, 4G represents a great opportunity for us because we see that as a capacity expansion; higher data rates imply capacity expansion, not just combining speed and download capability," Roger Lindquist, CEO of MetroPCS, said during a conference call last year.

Verizon Wireless also is making a big push to roll out LTE networks within the next two years. Verizon's adoption rate will be a better indicator of the success of LTE, as it has more than 80 million subscribers, compared with about 6 million for MetroPCS.

While companies like AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon, and MetroPCS are betting on LTE, there's a growing battle over what will be the primary technology for next-generation mobile broadband. Companies like Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), and various cable companies have invested in WiMax as the standard for 4G networks.

– Marin Perez, InformationWeek

vsomanv 12/5/2012 | 4:05:36 PM
re: MetroPCS Gets to Work on LTE Phones

Its going to be LTE all the way.. I think the Intels and Googles should re-deploy some of the funds that they have into bringing in a strong LTE ecosystem

bitsarebits2 12/5/2012 | 4:05:32 PM
re: MetroPCS Gets to Work on LTE Phones

Is WiMax dead or can it achieve some limited success ?

vsomanv 12/5/2012 | 4:05:29 PM
re: MetroPCS Gets to Work on LTE Phones

Oh yes - they would have some limited success for sure. They already have had some initial success.

What I meant is that they would not obtain the significant cellular success that was touted earlier. As an alternative and supplement model to the Fixed DSL, Mobile WiMAX would continue to thrive in the Wireless Broadband space.

menexis 12/5/2012 | 4:05:21 PM
re: MetroPCS Gets to Work on LTE Phones

Is Wimax dead? No way Jose.

Sign In