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Replying to:  SmartPhone Capabilities for MetroPCS? by PrinceJason   Jan 23, 2010, 5:13 PM

Re: SmartPhone Capabilities for MetroPCS?

by PrinceJason    Feb 5, 2010, 1:23 AM

I have sought answers from this forum and found little save in arias415's reply. My January 26th post appears to have slipped into a black hole when I see subsequent post not attempting to answering my questions but instead begging the question of having MetroPCS as a carrier to begin with. I have received answers from MetroPCS and would like to share these with the forum as seen below:

I have a few questions regarding two MetroPCS Smart Phones. I have asked customer service reps in the store and a technical support rep by telephone. However, they appear only moderately knowledgeable because they have not actually used the Smart Phones. I have read posts on other forums on the internet and been able to find limited information. The information I have found really does not answer my questions. The two models that work on MetroPCS for which I am interested are the Samsung Code and the BlackBerry 8330. I am currently using a Nokia 2270, so this will be a big change. My questions are as follows:

1) Does the GPS within both phones allow you LPS type function? In other words, can I load Google Maps on either the Code (Windows Mobile) or the BlackBerry (RIM) and have it utilize the GPS to locate my exact position? I am familiar with Microsoft Streets and Tips for my laptop. In contrast, Metro Navigator comes preloaded on the Code. Will Metro Navigator or other software allow me to use either Smart Phone the same way that I would use my GPS with my laptop? I have read that companies such as Verizon lock their GPS from all but their own applications. Is MetroPCS similar?

The best GPS handset is the Code, as it offers MetroNavigator. MetroNavigator is a turn-by-turn Navigation application which has more search features and functionality than Google Maps. MetroPCS allows the customer to download Google Maps on both the Code and 8830 but the GPS chip only works on a standalone basis. This means the handset will acquire location from satellites, only outdoors-- I believe this is similar to Verizon’s location methodology but could not say for sure. MetroNavigator has access to the GPS chip and our base stations which allows precise location indoors or outdoors.

The Code is also an AWS handset and so has a wider range of markets than the Blackberry which is PCS.

If MetroNavigator has access to the GPS chip, then can it be assumed that the other programs which are compatible will also have access to the GPS chip? Or is the GPS chip "locked" to only work with MetroNavigator?

MetroPCS’ Location-Based Services (MetroNavigator, Loopt, etc.) are the only applications that have access to the GPS chip and PDE* (position determining equipment). All other applications have access to only the standalone GPS chip.

2) Can normal Windows Mobile or RIM software be loaded on either Smart Phone? A friend at work let me play with this AT&T BlackBerry Storm. I assume the answer to this question is yes based on what I have seen. However, with it being on another carrier, I want to be certain. It appears Opera Mini is usually the first software that is loaded on a Smart Phone for internet use. I want to make sure I can load more than the software that comes from the MetroPCS store.

Yes, both Windows Mobile and RIM devices support non Metro software designed for each operating system. RIM's application store is available to MetroPCS customers. Downloadable software, including maps and directions, will function on the MetroPCS network but the GPS chip will only be available on a standalone method- using satellites.

3) If available, can the OS’s be upgraded on either Smart Phones without destroying the functionality of the phones? This question is of less importance than the other two. I merely wanted to ask because it seems like a hot topic in the forum.

The OSs can be upgraded by the user as the software becomes available from RIM or Microsoft. There should be no loss of functionality and the user should be able to access the benefits of the upgraded software. The user must upgrade the OS themselves; we do not provide upgrade support in our stores.

I am seeking answers from someone that has used one of these phones in the past with the MetroPCS service. I will be buying an original phone as opposed to a flashed phone.

That’s good, as the MetroFlash program only supports voice and text. We do not support data services on any device other than our own devices due to instability in software, so a flashed phone is not a good option if you want a full featured Smartphone.**

I was told in the store and by telephone that MetroPCS would not be getting any more Smart Phones until the 4th quarter this year. At that time it was only estimated that they would offer another BlackBerry. I was told by the same sources that MetroPCS will soon offer either G3 or G4 in addition to CDMA but that no date had been set. The technical rep said any current CDMA phone would not function on either network.

Very sorry for the mis-communication at the store, as other smartphones are on our roadmap throughout the year. You will have additional Smartphone options from us every couple months. We have publically stated our plans to launch a 4g device as well.

In addition, should you choose one of our Smartphones now, the functionality you have at activation will not be lost with the launch of our 4G network. Your handset will perform exactly the same. However, to take advantage of the new network’s high speed data capability one would need to have a handset that supports that coverage.

This is great news! The 4g network is something to look forward to. Currently however, what is the average throughput that can be expected on the CDMA network? Looking forward to the future launch, what is the average throughput that can be expected on the 4g network with a compatible headset?

Our current CDMA network has speeds of up to 144kbps depending on crowding at various cell site locations. Our 4g LTE network is still in development, so we cannot provide data speeds, but you can expect substantially higher speeds on LTE devices. Purchasing an LTE capable handset will enable you to leverage the fastest network speeds available on MetroPCS’ network when available, but it will also drop down to our existing network when necessary.

* Information on PDE can be found at m

** Currently, a Smart Phone from a 3rd party vendor may be purchased which supports data services excluding access to some BlackBerry services.

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