MetroPCS tweak 4G LTE plans: new $40 tariff

MetroPCS always told us that the carrier was testing the waters with its $55 unlimited 4G plan, and with the new year come three new packages. The good news is that unlimited 4G – with some limits – is now on offer from $40 a month, including unlimited talk, text and YouTube video access. However, if you use streaming services, real-time internet gaming or want to download video or music, you'll have to pay a little more.

That's because MetroPCS differentiate between basic web browsing and so-called "data access services"; the former, plus unlimited YouTube, comes as standard, but if you want the latter then you have to opt for a more expensive tariff. $50 per month gets you 1GB of "data access services" while $60 gets you unlimited access along with MetroSTUDIO premium content.

To be fair, most MetroPCS users are probably going to be content with the new, cheaper, entry-level package, but it is a little more confusion than the carrier's usual "one price for everything" sales schtick. The carrier's 4G LTE service is available now in Boston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Sacramento and San Francisco, and is planned for Atlanta, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa in 2011.

Press Release:

MetroPCS' New 4G LTE Plans Offer Unprecedented Value and Choice with Prices Starting at Just $40

$40, $50 and $60 plans include unlimited talk, text and Web browsing on 4G LTE handsets; Allow consumers to select data access levels to meet their lifestyle

DALLAS – (January 3, 2011) – MetroPCS Communications, Inc. (NYSE: PCS) today announced its new 4G LTE no annual contract service plans that deliver unmatched value to consumers who demand more service flexibility with their entertainment and Web experience.

Starting at just $40 per month, all three 4G LTE rate plans offer affordability, flexibility and predictability with unlimited nationwide talk, text and Web browsing, with all applicable taxes and regulatory fees included. With the $50 and $60 service plans, consumers have more data access service choices to better fit their actual usage of certain streaming audio and video content, real-time Internet gaming, music and video downloads and other media applications. MetroPCS' other current service plans remain unchanged and continue to offer unlimited talk, text and Web browsing services.

Each of the three 4G LTE service plans offers unique options and features:

· The $40 service plan offers unlimited talk, text, 4G Web browsing with unlimited YouTube access.

· The $50 service plan includes the same unlimited talk, text, 4G Web services and unlimited YouTube access as the $40 plan. Additional features include international and premium text messaging, turn-by-turn navigation with MetroNAVIGATOR™, ScreenIT, mobile instant messaging, corporate e-mail and 1 GB of additional data access, with premium features available through MetroSTUDIO™ when connected via Wi-Fi, including audio capabilities to listen and download music and access to preview and trial video content.

· The $60 service plan provides the same premium features as the $50 plan, plus unlimited data access and MetroSTUDIO premium content such as 18 video-on-demand channels and audio downloads.

"Our customers told us they wanted more video, more sharing of their content and more Web browsing capabilities – they want to have it all with the value and no annual contract that only MetroPCS can deliver," said Roger D. Linquist, president, CEO and chairman of MetroPCS. "Our 4G LTE network can deliver unlimited voice and mobile broadband data services and, with these new service plans, consumers are in the driver's seat on how much additional data access and real-time entertainment content they want to pay for on a monthly basis."

The new 4G LTE rate plans are available in the nine metropolitan areas where MetroPCS currently offers 4G LTE services, including Boston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Sacramento and San Francisco. MetroPCS plans to expand its 4G LTE services into more metropolitan areas in 2011, including Atlanta, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa, and will continue the build-out of its existing 4G LTE metropolitan areas through the year.