MetroPCS (NASDAQ:PCS) expanded its LTE footprint to some key major markets: Boston, New York City and Sacramento. The operator offers the service via the Samsung Craft LTE phone. The service is prepaid, starts at $55 per month, and includes voice, text and LTE data service.
MetroPCS is deploying LTE in its 13 core markets. The company plans to have roughly 80 percent of its existing CDMA footprint covered by the first quarter of next year.
The Samsung Craft is available for $299 after a $50 instant rebate. Customers who subscribe to the carrier's top-tier, $60-per-month LTE service plan will have access to MetroStudio, a content platform powered by RealNetworks, that delivers full-track music downloads, ringtones and ringback tones as well as video content from NBC, Universal, BET and others.
Despite the carrier's actions, MetroPCS faces significant competition on the LTE front. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) launched its LTE service in 38 markets and 60 airports across the country earlier this month. However, Verizon is initially selling its service via USB data dongles. The company has said it plans to introduce its first LTE smartphone in first half of 2011, possibly as early as February.
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