MetroPCS launches first US LTE network

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
US operator MetroPCS has launched the country’s first commercial LTE service, as well as its first LTE phone.
 
The company debuted the service in Las Vegas, with two service plans for $55 and $60.
 
The $55 service provides unlimited talk, text and data, while the $60 service adds access to MetroSTUDIO, a new VOD and multimedia service in partnership with RealNetworks.
 
MetroPCS' network launched with the Samsung Craft, an LTE/Wi-Fi phone priced at $299. The phone has a browser, touchscreen and Qwerty keyboard, but no full-featured OS.
 
Phonenews blogged that the Craft was disappointing compared to other phones at that price point, and didn't appear to be selling quickly.
 
The Las Vegas 4G network will cover most of the operator's existing footprint in Las Vegas, MetroPCS said, with additional LTE rollouts in the remaining LTE markets planned for later this year and early 2011.
 
MetroPCS hopes to cover 19 markets containing 25 major cities by the end of next year.
 
But the operator is by necessity planning a more limited approach to LTE than its rivals such as Verizon and AT&T, Rethink Wireless said
 
It has only narrow bands of spectrum in most of its cities, and is overlaying LTE on CDMA in its Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) frequencies.

MORE ARTICLES ON: LTE, MetroPCS, Samsung, US

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