Not even a full month after closing the reverse merger, MetroPCS is speeding up the transition timeline away from its CDMA network to T-Mobile’s HSPA+ and nascent LTE network by rolling out the first stage of its integration with the new T-Mobile by launching T-Mobile BYOD service with new SIMs as well as selected T-Mobile smartphones, starting with the LG Optimus L9 and the 2013 Samsung Exhibit, which is known as the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini in the rest of the world. The launch is set for June 12th.
The BYOD service will be compatible with the majority of GSM and HSPA+ devices, with particular emphasis placed on smartphones such as the iPhone, the majority of Android smartphones, Windows Phone and even basic feature phones, though pre-BB10 BlackBerry smartphones will not be compatible with the BYOD service, owing to the elimination of BIS service. Currently what has yet to be confirmed is what the pricing for the Optimus L9 and Samsung Exhibit will be, as MetroPCS is not expected to use T-Mobile’s current Simple Choice plan lineup and is also expected to price the phones inline with its current pre-merger device lineup.
Pricing for T-Mobile GSM BYOD also has yet to be confirmed as well as the plan slate that the above phones and service will use, since current MetroPCS plans are meant for the pre-merger slate of 4G LTE/CDMA devices and are not expected to be compatible with T-Mobile devices or BYOD service owing to differences in current plan offerings between both carriers. Currently on T-Mobile Prepaid, the LG Optimus L9 is being sold for $240.99 and the Exhibit is being sold for $235.99 on the no-contract Simple Choice plan lineup.
With the above information, this means that initial plans to run MetroPCS and T-Mobile as separate entities are being drastically adjusted to transition MetroPCS from its current device lineup more quickly than when the merger was first announced. The CDMA network is expected to be completely decommissioned and all current customers are expected to be moved onto the expanded HSPA+/LTE network during 2015.