MetroPCS has quietly rolled out a new, breakthrough price point of $25 for unlimited voice and messaging. The $25 plan is the cheapest unlimited plan we’ve seen to-date, and offers unlimited voice and messaging, without data. The plan is only available to MetroPCS feature phones, and cannot be bundled with family plan discounts.
The plan comes with growing concern that MetroPCS is on an unsustainable path, following a failed acquisition proposal by Sprint Nextel.
While the carrier maintains national roaming agreements, it has suffered numerous difficulties in rolling out its 4G LTE network. Originally launching with lackluster 4G LTE featurephones, the carrier now endures complaints that its 4G LTE speeds are only competitive with 3G HSPA+ speeds on AT&T and T-Mobile. MetroPCS LTE speeds in our tests rarely exceed 4 mbps, though MetroPCS has not provided PhoneNews.com with review units to perform extended testing.
The $25 price point will likely lure away customers on national prepaid providers, such as Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. Customers will, however, have to purchase a new device, as MetroPCS just ended their MetroFlash initiative, which would have allowed customers to bring their existing CDMA devices with them to MetroPCS. This plan would have been the most-compatible offering with MetroFlash, as MetroFlash did not handle data properly, and was only advertised as supporting voice and text services.
Prepaid continues to be the most competitive space in the wireless field. While postpay plans have become increasingly fixated on metered data, services like Straight Talk and Verizon Unlimited prepaid tout no caps or throttling. For example, Verizon’s new postpay $30 upgrade fee will now eclipse an entire month of unlimited voice-and-text service on MetroPCS. MetroPCS themselves did add throttling to their 4G LTE data plans, but also offered a $70/month, uncapped-and-unthrottled plan.
The $25 plan is likely Metro’s only key differentiator that will be compelling to the tech-savvy, it will be something they can help move non-tech savvy members onto, in order to help accommodate for increasing data prices.
MetroPCS has described the plan as “promotional” but not as a limited-time offering. It’s not clear if MetroPCS intends to offer this plan long-term, or if they are testing the waters to see if it results in new subscriber adds… which is what the company is appearing to both need, and target with this promotion.