MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS) is launching an in-store, promotional $30 LTE rate plan that offers unlimited voice, texting and CDMA data as well as 250 MB of LTE data. MetroPCS is also slashing the price of its $55 promotional LTE plan down to $50 when customers add a second line. The efforts come as Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile USA moves to acquire MetroPCS.
MetroPCS' promotion goes for $30 per month.
The new promotional plan comes with some important caveats. Customers will need to pay a $10 "promotion fee" when they accept the offer and the promotional plan is only valid with the activation of new MetroPCS LTE smartphone, meaning existing LTE customers cannot get it. The first 250 MB of data used in the customer's billing cycle will be at LTE speeds before being dropped down to CDMA 1X speeds. MetroPCS has said the company is delivering average downlink speeds of 3-5 Mbps on its LTE network, which is available in 14 markets. MetroPCS did not say when the $30 plan promotion will end.
MetroPCS' LTE promotion follows the August introduction of its promotional $55 LTE rate plan, and comes on the heels of the introduction of several lower-cost LTE smartphones from the carrier. MetroPCS now offers three LTE smartphones for $149 or less: the LG Motion 4G for $149, the Huawei Activa 4G for $99 and the Coolpad Quattro 4G for $79.
MetroPCS executives have repeatedly said that driving the cost of its LTE smartphones down is critical to increasing its LTE subscriber base. The lower device prices coupled with the promotional plans seem designed to do that. In late September MetroPCS revealed that it had close to 1 million LTE subscribers, up from the 700,000 it reported in late July.
T-Mobile's merger plan involves moving all of MetroPCS' CDMA customers off that network and onto a combined LTE network that T-Mobile that would run on 1700 MHz AWS spectrum. T-Mobile has said it expects all of MetroPCS' customers to be moved onto the new, combined LTE network by 2015 (which T-Mobile said would be aided by MetroPCS' 60-65 percent handset turnover rate).
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