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MetroPCS Revives $40 LTE Plan

Fri, 02/03/2012 - 7:13am
Maisie Ramsay

MetroPCS is making it cheaper for customers to sign up for its LTE service.

The company cut $10 off its base rate, reviving a $40 unlimited plan it first started offering with the debut of the Samsung Craft, a Brew-based device that was the company's first LTE phone.

The Craft was the only phone offered with the $40 plan, so the plan went extinct after MetroPCS stopped selling the device last year. The Craft's less-than-speedy performance led to poor reviews, and MetroPCS eventually phased it out in favor of LTE-ready Android smartphones.

The prepaid provider now offers four LTE plans ranging from $40 to $60 which include streaming multimedia, music or video-on-demand.

"As our customers' mobile needs move forward, MetroPCS is evolving its service plans to fit consumers that are seeking the best value, latest handsets and quality wireless services," a company spokesman said.

MetroPCS told CNET that the nixing of the $40 plan was intended to be a short-term move. Bringing the more affordable data plan back has "been in the works for a while" and will "make 4G LTE accessible... to a greater audience."

The LTE service is only available in some markets, including Atlanta, Boston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Sacramento, San Francisco and the Tampa metropolitan area.

The price cuts come as MetroPCS is working to prove to investors that its smartphone strategy is working. The heavy cost of subsidizing high-end handsets fueled a 10 percent drop in its third-quarter earnings, prompting some shareholders to question the company's push to get more customers onto Android-based devices.

The company won't report its full fourth-quarter results until Feb. 23 but released preliminary numbers last month which showed a slowdown in net adds. About 197,000 net new customers signed up for MetroPCS service during the last three months of 2011, down from 298,000 the previous year.

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