MetroPCS will flash existing CDMA handsets

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Flat-rate carrier MetroPCS is offering potential customers a unique proposition--come to MetroPCS and you don't have to buy a new phone because the operator will reflash your existing CDMA handset so it will work on the carrier's network. Of course, this will only work with CDMA handsets, so that means it will primarily benefit customers that have purchased phones from Sprint, Verizon Wireless, Alltel, U.S. Cellular, Leap Wireless or another CDMA operator.

Called MetroFlash, the service will cost customers $30 and then they can get unlimited local, long distance, voicemail and text messaging from MetroPCS for $40 per month (the first month of service is free).  MetroFlash is available at all MetroPCS company-owned stores and select authorized dealers in all MetroPCS markets except Las Vegas and Shreveport/Bossier City.

This is probably a smart defensive move for flat-rate carrier MetroPCS. The company is facing increased competition from nationwide operators and MVNOs that have recently launched unlimited airtime packages.

For more:
- see this release
- see this update to the story: Virgin Mobile, MetroPCS in legal battle over phone flashing

Related story:
MetroPCS taps Alcatel-Lucent for AWS buildout
Virgin goes unlimited for $80 per month

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