T-Mobile CEO says T-Mo-friendly devices hitting MetroPCS stores soon, MetroPCS iPhone 'not imminent'Alex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
Following the completion of the T-Mobile-MetroPCS merger earlier today, T-Mobile US CEO John Legere has shed some light on his company's device rollout plans. Speaking to AllThingsD, Legere revealed that T-Mobile is planning to begin rolling out new products that feature MetroPCS branding but work on T-Mobile's network as soon as June. "This is about customer migration, not network integration,” Legere explained.
T-Mobile has said that it plans to repurpose MetroPCS's CDMA network into HSPA+ and LTE service. Selling T-Mobile-compatible devices to MetroPCS customers is one way that it can help to speed up its plans, as it'll get more customers to jump over to T-Mobile's network and clear out MetroPCS's. While T-Mobile has said that it plans to operate T-Mobile and MetroPCS as two separate brands, I'm sure that it wouldn't mind getting to use Metro's network to help expand its own HSPA+ and LTE coverage as soon as possible.
Along with helping MetroPCS customers transition to the T-Mobile network, this upcoming T-Mo-compatible and MetroPCS-branded hardware will allow the MetroPCS brand to enter new markets where T-Mo offers service but Metro does not. Legere said that T-Mobile is looking through a double-digit list of markets, adding that T-Mobile plans to be aggressive with its marketing in these new areas. The exec didn't clarify exactly when T-Mobile plans to officially enter the new markets.
The topic of the iPhone also came up during Legere's interview. T-Mobile recently began selling iOS smartphones, making it the fourth major U.S. carrier to do so. However, that doesn't mean that MetroPCS subscribers will soon be able to get an iPhone that's compatible with their plans. When asked if the iPhone is coming to MetroPCS, Legere said that while the answer isn't a definitive "No," the arrival of a MetroPCS-friendly iPhone is "not imminent."
Finally, the T-Mobile US CEO offered the tiniest bit of insight into how his company has been performing since it became the "UNcarrier" and ditched the traditional subsidy model. Legere said that T-Mobile's postpaid and prepaid businesses are exceeding expectations and that the carrier is on track to switch from losing postpaid subscribers to gaining them sometime in 2013. T-Mobile is aiming to continue gaining postpaid subscribers throughout 2014. Legere also said that sales of T-Mobile's iPhone have been beating expectations.