MetroPCS takes on mobile's 'big four,' expands 4G LTE presence further

MetroPCS may be the fifth largest wireless network operator in the United States, but it is the first in LTE, the next-generation wireless standard that will eventually be used by market leaders Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Wednesday, the company expanded its LTE network footprint to three more major markets: New York City, Boston, and Sacramento.

In September, MetroPCS opened the first commercial LTE network in the United States in Las Vegas, and a little more than a week later switched on the second deployment in the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area. Since then, the company has activated LTE networks in the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia metro areas in Pennsylvania, in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

The company then took a big step in November when it launched its first nationwide wireless coverage plan. This essentially marked the company's graduation from regional wireless carrier to national carrier.

MetroPCS uses CDMA wireless technology for its service and has a respectably large national footprint, but it offers no 3G data services. Now that it has a growing LTE network for data, the company can join the upper echelon of wireless networks it stood beside during the "third generation" of wireless services.

Currently, MetroPCS has "2G" services in approximately 11,000 cities and 4G in just nine. MetroPCS' 4G expansion plans for the remainder of 2010 and beginnings of 2011 include new networks in Atlanta, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa.

"As the only no annual contract, pay-in-advance wireless service provider offering 4G LTE services, we continue to build our network to allow more customers to experience our unparalleled value and flexible, affordable service," Roger D. Linquist, president, CEO and chairman of MetroPCS said in a statement this morning.

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