T-Mobile's MetroPCS gives away 2 free months of service

T-Mobile's MetroPCS prepaid brand is offering two free months of service to new customers. (Image: ViewApart/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

T-Mobile's MetroPCS brand said it will give customers who switch to its prepaid offering two free months of service. The offering appears to ratchet up wireless competition—at least in the prepaid space—at the start of the second quarter.

“New customers can choose the $50 Unlimited LTE plan, the $60 plan with Unlimited LTE + 10GB of hotspot data, or 4 lines of Unlimited LTE for $100. As always with MetroPCS, taxes and regulatory fees are included, and you’ll be riding on the nationwide T-Mobile LTE network,” T-Mobile wrote in a release announcing the new offer. “After two months of unlimited service with a timely second month payment, customers can get a $100 prepaid Mastercard.”

MetroPCS’ two free months of service may stand as a response to the free month of service that Sprint’s Boost Mobile is offering. On the prepaid provider’s website, Boost is offering one free month of service to customers who bring their own device to the operator. “The credit for your free month of service will be applied after your first monthly payment is made,” Boost notes on its website.

Of course, none of those offers matches the full free year of service that Sprint has been offering since last summer. Described by at least one analyst as  the “most aggressive promotion in the history of the U.S. wireless industry,” Sprint provides a free year of unlimited service to customers who switch to the carrier and bring their own phone. The offer is available to new customers who switch to Sprint and sign up on the company's website. Sprint and other carriers routinely describe promotional offerings as “available for a limited time,” only to extend the offering as its end date nears.

However, most analysts don’t expect Sprint’s free year of service to aid the carrier in the first quarter. For example, the Wall Street analysts at Morgan Stanley expect the operator to report a net loss of 12,000 postpaid phone customers in the quarter, which is a reduction from its initial expectations of a gain of 14,000 for the period.

For its part, T-Mobile’s new offer of two free months of service at its MetroPCS brand may well add momentum to the carrier’s prepaid business. In the fourth quarter of 2017, T-Mobile reported 149,000 branded prepaid net additions, and 855,000 in the full year of 2017.

T-Mobile is expected to report its results for the first quarter, which ended March 31, sometime in the next few weeks.