MetroPCS plans to switch off its legacy CDMA network on June 21. MetroPCS parent T-Mobile says about 190,000 customers are still using CDMA handsets in the three markets that offer CDMA coverage, down from 300,000 about a month ago. T-Mobile has been transitioning CDMA customers to its GSM-based network aggressively for more than a year. "Any MetroPCS customer using a CDMA handset in a migration market [is] eligible for our HSPA/LTE device Upgrade Program," said T-Mobile to FierceWireless. "In order to take advantage of the new network, all customers need to do is bring their active phone to a participating MetroPCS store, choose a new phone, apply their trade-in credit toward that phone, and start using the new network right away." Some MetroPCS customers will quality for upgrade credits between $32 and $299 depending on their existing CDMA handset. Customers who don't pick up a new phone before June 21 will lose service entirely when MetroPCS shuts down the CDMA network. T-Mobile plans to re-use the CDMA spectrum to supplement its LTE 4G network.
Boost Mobile today introduced a limited promotion aimed at enticing MetroPCS and Cricket Wireless customers to switch. Boost will cut the monthly service fees in half for Metro and Cricket customers that sign up for Boost service between now and July 20. Boost says the halved bills can save Metro and Cricket customers between $20 and $30 per month for up to one full year. For example, MetroPCS is charging $40 a month for unlimited talk/text and 2.5GB of LTE data. Customers who port their number to Boost can get that same service plan for $20 per month. Similarly, Cricket charges customers who have unlimited talk/text and 10GB of data $60 per month. Boost will charge only $30 for that same plan. After the year-long promotion expires, customers will automatically be migrated to the Boost plan with a comparable amount of monthly data. Boost operates on Sprint's network. Sprint is offering a similar promotion to customers who switch from AT&T or Verizon Wireless.
Sprint today announced the availability of Sprint Cuba 20 Plus, a calling plan add-on that provides access to friends and family in Cuba. The Sprint Cuba 20 plan costs $10 per month and includes 20 voice minutes to any line in Cuba. Additional minutes cost 70 cents each. Sprint customers who subscribe to the Sprint Cuba 20 plan can call and send messages to Mexican and Canadian numbers without paying extra international charges. The plan offers discounted rates to 180 other countries, as well. The Sprint Cuba 20 plan can be added to customer accounts starting today. MetroPCS also announced a Cuba plan today, but Metro's is packaged in with an existing international calling plan.
MetroPCS today added Cuba to the list of countries included in the MetroPCs World Calling add-on plan. The add-on, which costs $10 per month, now offers 20 minutes of calling to landlines or mobile devices in Cuba and unlimited texting to Cuba at no extra charge. The World Calling Plan already includes unlimited calling to land lines in more than 75 countries, unlimited texting to most countries, and 200 voice minutes to mobile phones in select countries. MetroPCS customers who travel outside the U.S. to select countries can make 200 minutes of voice calls (including 20 minutes from Cuba), receive unlimited messages, send 200 texts, and use up to 200MB of data. The updated World Calling add-on with Cuba is available starting today.
T-Mobile today announced a handful of device and service promotions that will become available over the holiday weekend. To start, T-Mobile is offering a free memory upgrade to buyers of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. From May 23 through May 25, the 64 GB model will cost the same as the 32 GB model. Customers who buy the 32 GB will receive a $50 Visa gift card. Following their appearance on T-Mobile's web site earlier this month, the company shared pricing details for the LG Stylo and Leon. The Stylo will cost $289.92 at full retail or $12.08 per month and the Leon will cost $149.76 at full retail or $6.24 per month. T-Mobile Prepaid customers can score the Leon for free with an online rebate. T-Mobile-owned MetroPCS will also sell the Stylo and Leon for $199 and $49, respectively, after online rebates. Customers who switch to MetroPCS from a competing carrier will receive a free LG Leon or $50 toward the phone of their choice. Last, MetroPCS is recirculating the 4x100 promotion. Customers can get four lines with unlimited talk, text, and 2 GB of data per line for a total of $100.
T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said the company's LTE 4G network now covers 280 million POPS. That's a slight improvement from the 275 million POPs T-Mobile said it covered at the end of April. With 280 million people blanketed by its 4G network, T-Mobile's coverage footprint is on par with that of Sprint, which also coves 280 million. AT&T and Verizon both claim to cover 308 million POPs. Ray offered a few more details about T-Mobile's progress. It is still on track to cover 300 million POPS by the end of the year. It plans to shutter its legacy CDMA MetroPCS network on June 21, and there are fewer than 300,000 customers still using that network in Dallas, Miami, and New York City. T-Mobile said it has 15x15 MHz LTE deployments in 150 markets, which the company will expand to 200 by the end of the year. T-Mobile charted an aggressive path for building its LTE network and has met or exceeded most of its goals over the past two years.
T-Mobile intends to shutter MetroPCS' legacy CDMA network by late June, according to information on the carrier's web site. The company recently said it had three major metro markets -- and about 500,000 customers -- still using its CDMA network. Moreover, MetroPCS parent company T-Mobile said a total CDMA network shutdown wasn't planned until the end of the year. Now, MetroPCS' web site says all customers need to transition to its GSM/LTE network by June 21, after which "phones operating on MetroPCS' legacy network ... are not guaranteed to have service." T-Mobile has already refarmed approximately 80% of MetroPCS' legacy CDMA spectrum for its own LTE 4G service. MetroPCS said customers with older phones can turn in their handsets for credit towards new devices compatible with its LTE network. T-Mobile acquired MetroPCS and has aggressively moved Metro's customers to its own network.
A federal court ruled police can obtain cell phone location records from carriers without first getting a warrant. A Florida man, Quartavious Davis, convicted of seven armed robberies in 2010 argued the cell phone records used to place him in the vicinity of the robberies were protected under the Fourth Amendment. A Florida court initially agreed with Davis' argument, but the Justice Department appealed that ruling and heard the case earlier this year. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the Florida ruling and said Davis' rights against unreasonable search and seizure were not violated. "Davis has no subjective or objective reasonable expectation of privacy in MetroPCS's business records showing the cell tower locations that wirelessly connected his calls at or near the time of six of the seven robberies," said the federal judges. They maintain the records were created by MetroPCS and belong to that company rather than Davis. The ruling applies to law enforcement activity in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, which fall under the purview of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court. "The reach of the majority opinion is breathtaking," said Davis' attorney. "It means that the government can get anything stored by a third party: your Facebook posts, your Amazon purchases, your internet search history, even the documents and pictures you store in the cloud, all without a warrant." Though law enforcement agencies in these three states can obtain cell records from carriers without a warrant, they cannot search individual cell phones without a warrant. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that police must obtain a warrant before searching actual handsets.
T-Mobile today said it has migrated the majority of MetroPCS customers off the company's legacy CDMA network and onto its own LTE network. T-Mobile says fewer than 500,000 MetroPCS customers are still using the CDMA network. As a result, the company decommissioned MetroPCS' CDMA network in Atlanta and Detroit during the first quarter of the year, bringing the overall total to 8 market shutdowns, with only 3 major markets left. T-Mobile expects to shut down these remaining MetroPCS CDMA networks by the end of the year. T-Mobile has already refarmed approximately 80% of MetroPCS' spectrum for its 4G service. Speaking of which, T-Mobile today said its LTE network covers 275 million people and it expects to reach its goal of 300 million by the end of the year. T-Mobile has aggressively rolled out Wideband LTE service to 157 markets, and expects to cover 200 markets with Wideband LTE by the end of the year. Further, the Uncarrier continues to deploy LTE on its 700MHz spectrum. It added 700MHz coverage in Houston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Tampa, San Antonio, and Detroit during the first quarter, bringing the total coverage to 55 market areas. Last, T-Mobile says its winnings in the recent AWS-3 spectrum auction gave it licenses covering 97 million people.
Cricket today said new customers who switch to Cricket from T-Mobile, MetroPCS, Sprint, Boost, and other competitors will receive one free month of service after completing two months of service. In order to qualify, customers must subscribe to a $50 or $60 rate plan. The offer will only be available for a limited time.
Samsung today announced the general availability details for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. The devices can be pre-ordered beginning Friday, March 27 and should reach most carrier stores on April 10. Samsung said the black, white, and gold models will be sold in the U.S. in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB configurations. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and U.S. Cellular all plan to sell the GS6 and GS6 Edge. Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless, and MetroPCS will only offer the Galaxy S6. In addition to carrier stores, the two phones will be available at Samsung Experience Shops at Best Buy, as well as Amazon, Costco, Sam's Club, Target, and Walmart. Some carrier stores will have the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge on display beginning tomorrow, even if sales don't commence until April 10. Samsung said carriers will announce individual pricing details later. The devices include 5.1-inch quad HD screens, 16-megapixel cameras, fingerprint readers, and multi-standard wireless charging.
T-Mobile recently added the Microsoft Lumia 640 to its web site and described the device as "coming soon." Microsoft revealed the Lumia 640 at Mobile World Congress earlier this month. The phone has a 5-inch HD screen, 8-megapixel camera, LTE, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, and Microsoft's productivity apps. The Lumia 640 will ship with Windows 8.1, but can be upgraded to the full version of Windows 10 later this year. T-Mobile didn't disclose exact availability or pricing, but Microsoft said the phone will reach stores in April for about $180. AT&T and MetroPCS also plan to sell the Lumia 640.
MetroPCS today announced a new promotion that gives customers unlimited talk, text, and data for $30 per month. Customers can access up to 1GB of data at 4G speeds, but once they reach that limit data speeds are throttled back. Customers will still have access to data, it will simply be slower. MetroPCS said the deal is available to all its customers as long as they have a MetroPCS phone. The promotional $30 plan is available only in MetroPCS stores beginning today. MetroPCS didn't put an end date on the promo.
Cricket Wireless today announced plans to sell the second-generation Motorola Moto E starting on March 13. The phone features LTE 4G, a 4.5-inch display, 5-megapixel camera, quad-core 1.2GHz processor and runs Android 5.0 Lollipop. The phone costs $129.99 and does not require a contract. Service plans start at $35 per month. Cricket is offering a free month of service to customers who switch from T-Mobile, MetroPCS, Sprint, and Boost.
Microsoft today announced the Lumia 640 XL, a larger version of the Lumia 640. The screen is stretched to 5.7 inches, the camera is improved to 13 megapixels, and the battery is slightly bigger, as well. It includes Microsoft's standard set of productivity apps and supports LTE 4G. It will ship with Windows 8.1, but can be upgraded to the full version of Windows 10. The Lumia 640 XL will be available in April from AT&T, T-Mobile, and MetroPCS in the U.S. Microsoft said it will include a one-year subscription to Office 365, 1TB of OneDrive storage, and 60 Skype world minutes. The price will be approximately $245.
T-Mobile has promoted CMO Mike Sievert to the COO position, according to a document the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Sievert served as the CMO under CEO John Legere since November 2012 and helped develop the company's Uncarrier strategy. Sievert will be in charge of all customer-facing operations, such as sales, marketing, and customer service. Tom Keys, COO of T-Mobile's MetroPCS business, is now president of T-Mobile's indirect channels. These changes are effective Feb. 13. COO of T-Mobile Business, Jim Ailing, plans to leave the company March 13. CEO John Legere said via his Twitter account, "Some changes at T-Moble HQ. Have to change it up when you have great talent and an uncarrier revolution to run."
Cricket Wireless today announced that all customers on its $50 and $60 plans can now make unlimited calls to Mexico. Cricket's subscribers can call landlines and mobile phones at no extra charge, though Cricket said calls to special or premium services may be blocked. The service also includes unlimited text, picture, and video messaging. The offer is not valid for Cricket's legacy CDMA customers. Cricket's Smart Plan costs $50 per month and includes unlimited calling, messaging, and 5GB of LTE data. The Pro Plan costs $60 and doubles data to 10GB. The Advanced Plan, which is available for a limited time, costs $60 and includes 20GB of LTE data and expands free messaging to 35 more countries. Customers can get a $5 monthly discount if they sign up for auto-pay. Cricket is still offering incentives to T-Mobile, MetroPCS, Sprint, and Boost Mobile customers, who will receive a free month of service for switching. Cricket operates on AT&T's network. AT&T recently acquired Iusacell, a Mexican network operator, and rolled out unlimited calls to Mexico to its own customers for $5 per month.
Cricket Wireless today added more data to its bottom two prepaid service plans in a bid to keep up with similar offers from Boost Mobile and MetroPCS. With Cricket's auto-pay discount, the Basic plan costs $35 per month and now includes unlimited talk, text, and 2.5GB of high-speed data per month (up from 1GB). Cricket's Smart plan costs $45 per month and includes 5GB of high-speed data (up from 3GB), and the Pro plan costs $55 per month and includes 10GB of high-speed data. Existing customers will automatically receive the upgraded data allotments. Last, Cricket added an Advanced plan that includes 20GB of data for $55 per month. The Advanced plan will only be available for a limited time and requires an LTE-capable handset. Cricket will provide one month of free service to new customers who sign up for its Smart, Pro, or Advanced plans. The new rates go into effect today. Cricket is owned and operated by AT&T. LTE speeds are limited to 8Mbps. Customers who exceed their monthly limit will be throttled for the remainder of the billing period.
MetroPCS today unveiled a new rate plan that includes unlimited talk, text, and LTE 4G data for $50 per month. Customers can sign up for the promotional plan between today and April 5. Once signed up, users can keep the unlimited LTE 4G data plan indefinitely. In order to use this plan, however, customers have to have a MetroPCS-branded LTE-capable handset. Customers cannot supply their own, unlocked handset. MetroPCS also increased the data available to its existing plans by 1GB each. For example, its $40 plan now includes unlimited talk, text, and up to 2GB of LTE (improved from 1GB), and a $50 plan with unlimited talk, text, and up to 4GB of LTE (improved from 3GB). These plans are available to BYOD customers and MetroPCS-branded devices. Last, MetroPCS said customers can buy the Samsung Galaxy Light for $49 and the LG F60 for $59. MetroPCS does not require contracts.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere took to the company's blog today to shed some light on its plans headed into 2015. To start, the company claims it will cover 300 million POPs with LTE by the end of 2015. It currently covers 264 million. T-Mobile will deploy Wideband LTE to a total of 150 markets around the country, though it is already present in about 120 markets. The company said it will eventually provide LTE to 350 markets via its 700MHz spectrum holdings. T-Mobile only recently began to deploy LTE on 700MHz, and didn't say how long it will take to reach those 350 markets. Legere noted MetroPCS, T-Mobile's prepaid service, will continue to see uncharted growth. The small carrier has already made big gains since T-Mobile acquired it in 2013. Legere also took the opportunity to poke fun at T-Mobile's rivals and make predictions about what's to come over the course of the next 12 months. Among others, Legere believes T-Mobile will overtake Sprint to become the nation's third-largest network operator in the very near future. (He had previously predicted by the end of 2014.) Legere says fourth quarter earnings reports, expected at the end of January, will provide the necessary details to make that determination.
Cricket Wireless is hoping a $100 bill credit will convince customers of Cincinnati Bell, MetroPCS, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Sprint, and T-Mobile to hop on over to Cricket. New customers must switch from the aforementioned carriers, purchase a new device, and activate a new line of service on a qualifying rate plan in order to receive the credit. The credit will be applied at the end of the first billing cycle. Cricket's service plans cost $40-$60 per month, depending on options. Cricket offered a similar promotion over the summer months, but only targeted Sprint and T-Mobile. The current promotion runs through Dec. 31.
MetroPCS recently began selling the LG F60 handset through its web site. The F60 was announced last month. It features a 4.5-inch WVGA display and 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor with 1GB of RAM. The device has a 5-megapixel main camera with Gesture Shot and Touch & Shot, and a 1.3-megapixel user-facing camera. The device includes Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, GPS, and LTE, and relies on a 2,100mAh battery for power. The F60 runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat and includes LG's Knock Code. MetroPCS is selling it for $100 after a mail-in rebate. The full retail price is $160.
MetroPCS has added the Alcatel OneTouch Fierce 2 to its roster of Android smartphones. The device, which is already being sold by Metro parent T-Mobile, costs $50 after a $100 discount. MetroPCS doesn't require contracts.
T-Mobile today increased the number of markets in which it operates MetroPCS by 10. MetroPCS, which is T-Mobile's prepaid brand, will reach consumers in Chattanooga, Tenn.; Chicago, Ill.; Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo.; Milwaukee, Wisc.; Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minn.; Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, and Richmond-Petersburg, Va.; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Yakima-Pasco-Richland-Kennewick, Wash., over the next few months. According to T-Mobile, MetroPCS is available from 11,000 points of sale across 55 metro areas. T-Mobile today also responded to recent moves by its competitors by increasing the data available to its prepaid customers. Beginning today, subscribers to MetroPCS' $40 plan will see their data limit bumped from 500MB to 1GB. Subscribers to the $50 plan will see their data increase from 2.5GB to 3GB. All customers will automatically be added to the new plans. T-Mobile doesn't charge overages, but does throttle back the speeds of those who surpass their monthly data allotment.
Cricket Wireless is borrowing a play from T-Mobile by offering a $100 credit to customers who switch from the UNcarrier or MetroPCS to AT&T-owned Cricket. The $100 bill credit offer is available from August 24 to October 19 at Cricket stores nationwide and online. According to Cricket, there is no limit on the number of lines a customer can switch to Cricket. Each line transferred from T-Mobile/MetroPCS is eligible for the $100 bill credit. Cricket's prepaid Basic, Smart, and Pro plans cost $40, $50, and $60, respectively, per month. Each plan offers a $5 monthly reduction when customers choose to use auto-pay.
T-Mobile and MetroPCS today announced the Kyocera Hydro Life, a new semi-rugged and waterproof Android smartphone. Like many of Kyocera's handsets, the Hydro Life is for customers who need a robust phone that can survive the trials and tribulations of an active lifestyle. It is certified to mil-spec 810G for protection against drops and shock, and IP57 for protection against dust and water damage (submersion in up to 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes). The phone has an impact-resistant 4.5-inch qHD display that Kyocera says has a non-slip finish. The Hydro Life is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor with 1.5GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. The phone includes a 5-megapixel main camera and a 2-megapixel selfie camera. The Hydro Life packs Kyocera's Smart Sonic receiver for improved phone call audio, as well as Kyocera's EcoMode and MaxiMZR tools for managing the 2,000mAh battery. The phone supports Wi-Fi and T-Mobile's Wi-Fi calling service, as well as Bluetooth 4.0, and T-Mobile's HSPA+ network. The Kyocera Hydro Life runs Android 4.3. It will be available to T-Mobile customers at Walmart stores beginning August 8 for $125. It will reach MetroPCS stores on August 29.
T-Mobile and MetroPCS today announced the pending availability of the Nokia Lumia 635. The device will see a gradual rollout that takes place over the course of several weeks. The Lumia 635 will first be available to T-Mobile's prepaid customers starting July 5 via the Home Shopping Network. T-Mobile's web site will then offer the 635 beginning July 9, followed by T-Mobile retail stores July 16. Finally, the Lumia 635 will reach MetroPCS' web site and select stores July 18. T-Mobile customers can purchase the Nokia Lumia 635 for $0 down followed by $7 per month for 24 months with a Simple Choice plan. MetroPCS customers can purchase the device for a promotional price of $99. The 635 is an entry-level Windows Phone handset that replaces last year's 521. It runs Windows Phone 8.1 and includes a 4.5-inch screen.
T-Mobile recently lowered the monthly prices of its prepaid GoSmart service. There are now three different GoSmart plans. The first offers unlimited voice and text for $25 per month. The second offers unlimited voice and text, and up to 500MB of 3G data for $35 per month. The third offers unlimited voice and text, and up to 3GB of 3G data for $40 per month. Users who exceed their monthly data allotment will be throttled for the remainder of the billing period. According to T-Mobile, GoSmart customers may supply their own device. However, 4G-equipped phones will only be able to browse GoSmart at 3G data speeds. GoSmart is T-Mobile's own prepaid brand. It is separate from MetroPCS, which T-Mobile also owns.
ZTE today announced the Concord II, an Android smartphone that will be sold by both T-Mobile and MetroPCS. The Concord II is a low-cost device that follows the 2012-era original. The Concord II runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and offers a 4-inch screen with 800 x 480 pixels, which is protected by Gorilla Glass II. The device is run by a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor paired with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. The Concord II supports microSD cards up to 32GB for additional storage. The phone has a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash that can capture 720p HD video. The Concord II has a removable 1,820mAh battery, and supports T-Mobile's HSPA+ network. It does not support LTE 4G. ZTE said the Concord II is available beginning today for $150 at T-Mobile stores. It will reach MetroPCS stores on May 19 and will cost $49.99 after a $50 rebate. Both T-Mobile and MetroPCS have smartphone plans that start at $40 per month.
MetroPCS, which is owned and operated by T-Mobile, has begun notifying customers in Las Vegas and New England that it will turn off MetroPCS's legacy CDMA network on July 1. A landing page on the company's web site recommends that MetroPCS customers in Las Vegas and New England go to a MetroPCS store to exchange their current handset for one that will work on T-Mobile's HSPA+/LTE networks instead. Metro warns that customers will need to make the exchange by June 30, as their existing hardware won't work beginning the first of July. T-Mobile is offering Metro customers discounts on its handsets, some of which are free. T-Mobile said earlier this year that it would switch off Metro's network in these markets by the end of the year, but hadn't provided a firm date. T-Mobile plans to refarm the Metro spectrum for its 4G services.
Samsung recently published details about the SGH-T199, a simple feature phone bound for T-Mobile. The T199 is a traditional candybar-style device with a small, 2-inch display and numerical keypad on the front. Other than basic calling, SMS/MMS, and browsing, the T199 offers few features, though it is capable of downloading apps through an on-board content store. The device has a 400MHz single-core processor, 128MB of RAM, 800mAh battery, and support for T-Mobile's HSPA network, but not LTE. It doesn't include a camera or expandable memory. The Samsung T199 has yet to appear on the web sites of T-Mobile and MetroPCS, so pricing and availability aren't available.
T-Mobile and MetroPCS today announced the availability of the LG L90 and L70 (pictured), devices that fall into LG's L Series III lineup. Both phones were revealed by LG earlier this year. The L90 and L70 run Android 4.4 KitKat with LG's user interface enhancements. The hardware puts LG's minimalistic design esthetic to use. Shared features include support for Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi.
- L90:The L90 is being sold by T-Mobile and supports the carrier's HSPA+ 4G network, but not LTE. It has a 4.7-inch qHD display, quad-core 1.2GHz processor with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, 2,540mAh battery, and an 8-megapixel/1.3-megapixel camera configuration. It will be available beginning April 30 for $0 down with 24 equal monthly device payments of $9.50, or the full retail price of $228.
- L70: The L70 will be sold by MetroPCS. It steps the display down to 4.5 inches and 800 x 400 resolution, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor with 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, a 2,100mAh battery, and a 5-megapixel/VGA camera configuration. The L70 is available beginning today for $49 after a $100 instant rebate. For a limited time, MetroPCS will offer an additional $49 rebate to customers who pay for two months of service in advance. The L70 supports HSPA+, but not LTE.
MetroPCS announced the availability of the Samsung Galaxy S5, which is in stores and online beginning today. The GS5 costs $649 and can be paired with Metro's $40 no-contract plans.
AT&T, T-Mobile, and MetroPCS all indicated today that they will sell the Nokia Lumia 635 smartphone once it becomes available later this year. The phone features a 4.5-inch screen, quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 5-megapixel camera, LTE 4G, and Windows Phone 8.1
T-Mobile today said that its plan to migrate MetroPCS customers away from the MetroPCS network to T-Mobile's network is ahead of schedule. About 3.5 million customers, or 40% of its base, have already switched. As such, it plans to shutter MetroPCS's network in three markets by the end of the year. Those markets include Boston, Philadelphia, and Las Vegas. T-Mobile said it expects minimal disruption to customers in those cities, though it will ramp up efforts to swap customers to T-Mobile gear over the next few months. T-Mobile has already repurposed 25% of MetroPCS's spectrum.
MetroPCS today announced a change to its Mexico calling plan that permits customers to make calls when traveling inside Mexico. For $10 per month, the Mexico calling plans gives customers unlimited voice minutes to Mexican landlines, 1000 minutes to Mexican mobile phones, and unlimited text messages to Mexican devices from the U.S. Beginning today, the plan now also includes 200 voice minutes and 200 messages to be used when subscribers travel to Mexico. Customers can sign up online, in stores, or by calling MetroPCS.
Sprint is in the early stages of deciding whether or not to purchase smaller rival T-Mobile, according to The Wall Street Journal. Citing sources familiar with Sprint's plans, the Journal says Sprint is examining the possible regulatory roadblocks it might encounter were it to make such a bid. The idea is being pushed forward by Masayoshi Son, the CEO of SoftBank, which owns more than 80% of Sprint. SoftBank's Son has been vocal about expanding in the U.S. market. A combined Sprint/T-Mobile entity would still have fewer subscribers than larger rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless, and it would further consolidate the industry. Federal regulators shot down AT&T's attempt to purchase T-Mobile two years ago. T-Mobile has since purchased MetroPCS. The Journal notes that T-Mobile doesn't want to waste any time treading water waiting for another deal to pass government muster. The government may not want just three large companies serving the country. Sprint's plans are not final and may be scrapped.
T-Mobile has begun to repurpose some of the spectrum it acquired with MetroPCS to supplement its LTE network. Late last month, T-Mobile turned on LTE service in what was formerly MetroPCS's spectrum in northern Dallas, according to AllThingsD. Combining its own spectrum with that of MetroPCS, T-Mobile is able to offer 20MHz-by-20MHz of bandwidth to customers in that area, which significantly improves capacity. T-Mobile said that it eventually plans to offer similar LTE bandwidth increases to 90% of the country's top 25 markets beginning next year. It also hopes to offer 10MHz-by-10MHz LTE to 40 of the top 50 markets by the end of 2014. Verizon Wireless is undertaking a similar task, using AWS spectrum it acquired from cable providers to supplement its 700MHz-based LTE network.
T-Mobile today announced that the Alcatel OneTouch Evolve and OneTouch Fierce will also be available under the MetroPCS brand. Both phones are already available for sale at T-Mobile stores. MetroPCS is selling the Evolve for $59.99 and the Fierce for $99.99. Both can be paired with no-contract monthly plans that start at $40.
MetroPCS today announced that the Samsung Galaxy Mega will be available online and in stores beginning November 25. The Galaxy Mega, which features a 6.3-inch display, and will run on T-Mobile's HSPA+/LTE networks. Service plans start as low as $40 per month. The full retail price of the Mega is $499. MetroPCS will offer existing customers a $100 rebate, dropping the final price to $399. New customers will be able to apply an additional $50 rebate to drop the final cost to $349. The rebates will only be available for a limited time. MetroPCS also indicated that its service is available in 15 more markets today, with the total reaching 45.