Less than three months after its merger with MetroPCS, T-Mobile US said it has expanded the MetroPCS footprint by 50 million POPs. Along with starting service in 15 new metro areas, T-Mobile also said it is expanding its bring-your-own-device service to all MetroPCS customers.
The fate of the regional operator is in question in light of the recent consolidation in the U.S. wireless industry. Research firm iGR estimates that the number of subscribers serviced by regional operators has dwindled from 22.2 million in 2012 to 12.5 million today. And with AT&T Mobility's planned $1.2 billion acquisition of Leap Wireless, that number will likely drop to 8 million or fewer by the end of 2013.
With its integration of MetroPCS' assets proceeding smoothly, is T-Mobile US gearing up to acquire yet another regional operator, such as Leap Wireless?
T-Mobile US is not talking about whether it met its goal of deploying LTE covering 100 million POPs in the U.S. by the end of June. In response to questions from FierceWireless, Alexandra Schwerin, spokeswoman for T-Mobile said this: "T-Mobile remains committed to achieving the LTE milestones we've previously announced and we have nothing new to share at this time."
T-Mobile US touted its progress in getting subscribers from its MetroPCS brand off legacy CDMA service and onto its HSPA+ and LTE networks, saying that it is ahead of schedule in the migration.
T-Mobile US' MetroPCS today launched a bring-your-own-device service that supports GSM-based Android phones and specific versions of Apple's iPhone. The offering is the latest evidence of T-Mobile's plans to supplement MetroPCS' CDMA and LTE networks with its own GSM-based network.
T-Mobile US brand MetroPCS will start selling GSM phones that work on T-Mobile's network as soon as June 12, according to a PhoneArena report.
Now that it's owned by T-Mobile US, MetroPCS has decided to drop its lawsuit against the FCC's net neutrality rules for wireless and wired networks, leaving Verizon Wireless as the sole challenger to the rules.
Verizon Wireless launched new prepaid pricing that significantly increases the amount of data its prepaid smartphone customers can consume per month with their plans, as competition in the prepaid market, especially among Tier 1 players, continues to heat up.
The following charts the top U.S. wireless carriers in the first quarter of 2013 by subscriber base, according to research firm Strategy Analytics, and includes major metrics--such as churn, ARPU and revenue--of each carrier.