Imagine unlimited talk, text, and 4G data for only $55 per month. That is the no-contract plan that MetroPCS is offering right now on their first LTE handset, the non-Android Samsung Craft.
MetroPCS already has a 4G LTE handset – the Samsung Craft QWERTY slider – but this is just a feature phone, not a Smartphone. So Regional wireless provider MetroPCS will launch its first Android-(most likely 2.3 Gingerbread) powered Smartphone that supports its LTE network in the first quarter of 2011. Possibly as early as February, and about six other LTE handsets should be launched by MetroPCS by mid 2011.
The unnamed Android device will be the first of about six LTE handsets from the company due for release by the middle of next year, Linquist said. No specifics on these devices were revealed, but voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology will be used for any Android handsets to quickly move customers from CDMA to the LTE network. The app will be preloaded on all LTE Android phones from MetroPCS and allow users to access other VoIP apps.
Their 4G coverage, as last month, is limited currently to the Las Vegas, Dallas-Ft Worth, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia metro areas. That 4G coverage is expected to expand to Sacramento, Central Florida, Boston, North Florida, South Florida, San Francisco, Atlanta, and New York City by the end of 2010 to the early 2011. Full 4G LTE roll-out in all the MetroPCS service areas is expected to be completed by the end of 2011.
To put that in perspective, MetroPCS should cover roughly 110 million people with their 4G LTE network this year, about the same size as Verizon and their newly launched 4G network.
Roger Linquist, CEO of MetroPCS, expects LTE Smartphone to be “priced very similar to 3G Smartphone” – which means they should have prices from $200 to $400 – $500.