First LTE 4G Network in the US Launched by... MetroPCS?

Ryan Whitwam

They said they were going to do it, and MetroPCS has beaten the big boys to the punch and launched the first 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) cellular network in the US. Customers will be able to get the Samsung Craft, the first LTE handset for $300 after rebate. MetroPCS is a prepaid carrier, so no subsidies are available, but the monthly cost is only $55 per month for unlimited calls, texts, and data.

The LTE service is currently only available in Las Vegas, but MetroPCS expects to expand into 18 markets in 2011. Users outside LTE areas will step down to 2G, as MetroPCS doesn't have a 3G network. While they may be first, MetroPCS will probably be eclipsed by Verizon when the larger carrier's LTE network goes live late this year.

This is a nice bonus for current users of MetroPCS, but it isn't likely to attract new users in droves. Even if the service we more widely available, the Samsung Craft is just a glorified feature phone with a keyboard and touchscreen. It may be nice PR for the carrier, but we'll wait for a better option.

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