MetroPCS has announced that its long-planned shutdown of CDMA markets is well ahead of schedule, with the first two markets to be shutdown in Las Vegas and New England now being shutdown in July, rather than being shutdown in 2015 as originally planned. This move also follows previous comments made by CFO Braxton Carter in February regarding the specifics of the network transition, though the third CDMA market planned to be shut down this year in Philadelphia has yet to have its transition dates announced.
Don’t wait—customers on the legacy network in New England and Las Vegas will need to upgrade by 6/30/14. Phones operating on this legacy network will no longer work effective 7/1/14.
The incentive programs currently used to move customers away from the MetroPCS CDMA network to T-Mobile’s GSM and LTE network have been more successful than anticipated with more than 3.5 million or about 40 percent of MetroPCS customers purchasing devices that work over T-Mobile’s network so far, with about 25 percent of the spectrum that T-Mobile acquired as part of the MetroPCS purchase being re-farmed for T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network and more spectrum planned to be re-deployed once the shutdown begins in the aforementioned markets.
Outside of those markets, MetroPCS is also taking steps to transition users in smaller markets much more quickly, as the CDMA network that previously existed in parts of Michigan has already been shutdown, with users reporting that the network had been shutdown as far back as February of this year, demonstrating how quickly T-Mobile wants to complete the transition in order to focus on LTE expansion/reinforcement and HSPA+ network reinforcement.
As an example of the aforementioned incentives to get people to switch devices as quickly as possible, MetroPCS is offering customers multiple trade-in deals depending on the CDMA device owned, with an LG Connect for a $99 credit in order to get an LG Optimus F6 for free, plus applicable sales tax.
Those customers with the LG Motion will get a $49 instant credit to exchange for the Samsung Galaxy Exhibit, plus sales tax and for those with the Huawei Verge or the Samsung Admire, they can be traded for either the Samsung Freeform M or the Huawei Valiant for free plus sales tax.
Update: T-Mobile felt the need to send this statement out to the media regarding the network transition in the above markets after the initial reports this weekend. They aren’t shutting down the MetroPCS CDMA network and reusing the spectrum for HSPA+ and LTE, they’re “moving MetroPCS 3G CDMA customers to a better, faster network and offering them 4G HSPA+/LTE phones– giving them a better experience on a better network at almost no cost to them.” they apparently don’t want people to call it a network shutdown.