This was the final regulatory hurdle for the acquisition, and both companies' boards have also officially endorsed the move. However, the proposal's future does remain uncertain at this point, as major shareholders at MetroPCS have voiced concerns over its financial soundness. MetroPCS's single largest shareholder, John Paulson, argues that MetroPCS would be more successful and valuable in the long term if it remained an independent company.
If you're looking for a 4G LTE handset on MetroPCS that packs a pretty decent punch, the just-announced LG Spirit may have your number. At $200 and no annual contract, don't expect the Spirit to be a game-changer, but at first blush it does look like a bang-for-your-buck investment:
4.5" display with Gorilla Glass
1.2Ghz dual-core processor
5MP rear shooter, 1.3MP front camera
Android 4.0 with Optimus UI
The Spirit also features LG's QuickMemo feature, as well as MetroPCS' joyn service, which is essentially an all-in-one chat hub. The device is available beginning today for $270 with a $70 mail-in-rebate.
Thinking about switching to a prepaid carrier? As the fifth-largest U.S. cellular provider, MetroPCS should certainly be on your list (at least if you live in an urban area). Today they've shuffled up their tiered service plans, adding in some more full-speed data at the lower tiers and consolidating the highest tier into a single plan. For those of you who want the genuine article, don't worry: the $60 plan remains, with real unlimited 4G LTE data. The only stipulation is that you gave to have one of MetroPCS's LTE phones.
At the $40 level, customers can now access the network at LTE speeds for up to 500MB, after which customers are throttled to 3G speeds.
If you're looking for an LTE smartphone on a serious budget, look no further - MetroPCS may have just unveiled the cheapest LTE phone to date, in the form of the $150 ZTE Avid 4G. Yes, really, an LTE phone that costs $150. Color us shocked (well, as shocked as we can get about budget phones).
Of course, the Avid 4G is designed to also work with Metro's CDMA network, (thus that whole PCS business) so it won't do much good outside America's smallest national carrier.
The Avid 4G packs a dual-core 1.2GHz processor of some variety, a 4" 480x800 display, Android 4.0, and a 5MP rear camera.
Oh, open source files. You might not know it, but it's awfully hard to write words about kernel source going live on Samsung's website, something we do quite often here at Android Police. But, if you're into this sort of thing, you're probably not too concerned with what I'm saying, so much as the links to those files, which I have. And I'm going to make you scroll to get them!
It's always a joyous occasion to welcome a new device into the CyanogenMod family. This time it's the MetroPCS variant of the Samsung Galaxy S III.
CyanogenMod is one of the most popular Android ROMs and is supported on a ton of devices already. The CyanogenMod 10 version being offered for the MetroPCS SGS3 is a nightly build, meaning it is the experimental product of a day's work. Bugs are to be expected, but CM10 is getting quite stable overall. There are no monthly builds for this device, but that might happen soon. The monthly "M Snapshots" tend to be a little more sturdy.
While we're just hearing that an entirely new version of Google Wallet is on the way (what exactly is new about it is what we don't know), Google announced via Twitter that MetroPCS is the latest Wallet carrier partner. The Galaxy S III is the only Wallet-compatible device on Metro for the moment, but you can probably expect most future Metro phones to carry Wallet support, as well.
Happy to announce that @metropcs now supports Google Wallet!Have a Samsung Galaxy SIII on MetroPCS? Download: goo.gl/5RhBZ.
If you're keeping count at home, that brings Wallet support up to three carriers: US Cellular, Sprint, and MetroPCS are all now official Wallet partners, US Cellular being a recent addition we reported on earlier this month.
When we think of "budget" phones, a $500 Galaxy S III may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, MetroPCS' usual strategy of having customers buy phones off contract and save money on the service is in full swing here. The device comes with a hefty price tag up front, but pick up the carrier's $50/month plan for unlimited talk, text, and 2.5GB of data, and you're looking at around $1700 over the course of 2 years. Compare that to, say an $80/month plan with a $200 device ($2120 over two years) and you could face some steep savings.
Previously, we'd heard rumors and whispers that T-Mobile (by way of its parent company Deutsche Telekom) would be acquiring MetroPCS. Today, both companies' boards have approved the merger and, pending regulatory and MetroPCS shareholder approval, the deal should be completed by mid-2013. The two companies will have a combined subscriber base of about 42.5 million customers, which still leaves it in fourth place in the U.S. behind Sprint with 56 million and AT&T/Verizon who each have over 100 million users.
The biggest news is that this will allow T-Mobile the spectrum it needs to rollout a competitive LTE network. In fact, T-Mo's CEO John Legere hopes to some day be able to "taunt" competitors over their LTE coverage.
Update: Deutsche Telekom has confirmed that this merger will be happening (given regulatory approval), and that DT will run T-Mobile and MetroPCS as one company. The DT board will meet tomorrow to approve the transaction.
According to Reuters, "three sources familiar with the situation" are saying a deal between T-Mobile and MetroPCS is "close," and by close, they mean an announcement is probably happening tomorrow.
This is a bit odd, given that MetroPCS is a CDMA carrier, and that network is largely incompatible with T-Mobile's current spectrum holdings. MetroPCS does have a burgeoning LTE network, though, and this may be the proverbial apple of T-Mobile's eye driving the deal.