MetroPCS serves 500,000 LTE customers, says it'd like to offer cheaper LTE smartphonesAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
Earlier this week MetroPCS said that it intends to launch Voice over LTE (VoLTE) later this year, and now the carrier has talked a bit more about its LTE plans. MetroPCS says that about 500,000 of its customers are currently using its LTE network, which works out to be around five percent of its total subscriber base of 9.34 million. The carrier added that acquiring more spectrum for its LTE network is one of its top priorities and that it's got between $1 billion and $1.5 billion to spend on spectrum. Metro explained that it would like to own spectrum in its own markets to help keep a handle on the experience of its customers, but that it may need to make roaming agreements for areas outside of its markets.
On the LTE device side of things, MetroPCS said that it'd like to release LTE-capable Android smartphones in the second half of this year that are priced between $99 and $149. Metro is working with five manufacturers on the handsets, but no details on exactly which companies those are were given, nor was any other information about the phones themselves.
MetroPCS currently has a few different 4G LTE Android handsets available on its website, with the cheapest model being the Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G at $219. That's not a bad price for an off-contract LTE smartphone, but a $100-$150 price tag would be even better, and it would allow the number of customers on Metro's LTE airwaves to continue to grow past 500,000. MetroPCS says that it hopes to offer $99 handsets by the end of the year, so here's to hoping that the carrier can make it happen. Do any of you currently have a MetroPCS LTE smartphone?