T-Mobile Says MetroPCS LTE Smartphones Will Work On T-Mobile’s LTE Network

While many are focused on the possible technological differences between T-Mobile and MetroPCS, one man who isn’t concerned is T-Mobile’s Chief Technology Officer, Neville Ray. According to Ray, the key in this deal is that both companies have moved toward a similar next-generation LTE network on the AWS 1700 band. In fact, Ray says the a key part of this deal is that T-Mobile plans to move MetroPCS customers to T-Mobile’s smartphones quickly.

“This isn’t about integrating these two networks,” he said in an interview with All Things D Friday. “It’s about moving MetroPCS over to a bigger and stronger converged network.”

From the moment the merger closes, T-Mobile will start selling phones with MetroPCS branding that run on T-Mobile’s network. The goal is to fully migrate users over the next couple years and decommission the CDMA network, freeing up more spectrum for LTE.

Ray admits that the hardest move here will be moving MetroPCS customers over to T-Mobile, except he isn’t referring to the technology hangups. Instead, Ray is referencing any concerns customers may have with how the deal affects them and understanding how the network integration and merger will work.

“There’s a lot of work ahead,” Ray says, but again, he’s referring more to logistics and execution, rather than the technology itself.

Another interesting move that’s part of the merger deal is something Sascha Segan from PC Mag confirmed — MetroPCS is already working on software that while allow its equipment to run on T-Mobile’s future LTE network. Here’s the kicker, Segan learned of this software back in August whereas MetroPCS indicated it would be a “roaming” feature, and now they are calling it “authenticating” the device to run on T-Mobile’s network. In other words, MetroPCS smartphones will see T-Mobile’s network as a “home” network once the deal is finalized and the software update is available.

It seems clear that T-Mobile has a straightforward, no-nonsense way of looking at the merger with MetroPCS. They believe it’s feasible to both integrate the network  and support the customer base while avoiding the errors that plagued Sprint/Nextel. If they can pull this off, it gets Magenta that much closer to nipping at Sprint’s heels.

All Things D, PC Mag

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  • Ted Ja’Bronie

    Will MetroPCS now get the iPhone 6 and will it run on T-Mobiles network?

    • Nobody can ever answer questions about who will get future iPhone support. Sorry!

    • Ejustcomm

      Lol… Lmao…. Lol…You are being funny when you said I-phone 6, right? LMAO.

    • I think its a 50/50 chance yes/no… Most likely not, hopefully yes.

    • sidekicker89

      iPhone 5S? :p

    • qpinto

      you mean they will call it the “new iphone” :). 6 is too high of a number

    • squiggleslash


      MetroPCS will not ever get the iPhone. Remember – it’s not going to exist after the merger goes through. T-Mobile may use the trademark for marketing reasons, but the separate phone company will not.

      Nor is it likely that this merger will have any affect on whether T-Mobile has the iPhone. That’s a business decision made largely by T-Mobile. Thus far, Apple and T-Mobile have not come to an agreement whereby Apple has been willing to sell phones to T-Mobile that will work on T-Mobile’s network, and that T-Mobile is willing to pay Apple’s prices for.

  • Kevin

    MetroPCS is the definition of ghetto. Don’t believe me? Walk into one of their stores.

    • ghulamsameer

      Yeah, Metro’s company image is definitely not the best, but that spectrum will truly benefit us T-Mobile users.

      • Rudy Belova

        Maybe that’s why: “T-Mobile will start selling phones with MetroPCS branding”. Keep t-mobile’s image seperate than metropcs.. At least for right now.

    • Rudy Belova

      Yup. But a ghetto dollar is still worth the same as a normal dollar!

      • iTried

        Yeah, it’s just in change.

        • StayDope

          HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA a whole bunch of nickles and dimes if you know what i mean

      • Marco

        So true.

    • kev2684

      true story.

    • Brianb

      It doesn’t matter how ghetto MetroPCS is. This is a tower and spectrum buy for Tmobile. It increases the power of Tmobile–that is it.

    • Johnny

      Yeah MetroPCS is for people who can’t pass a basic credit check or can’t do a credit check because they don’t have a social security number.

      • Rudy Belova

        You dont need a social security number for t-mobile service. The t-mobile stores in chicago allow mexican id’s for mobile service. I doubt it’s a local thing. They put stickers on their front door showing such.

        • Moneyman

          Not anymore lol we stopped doing that based on company policy

        • jdjjjdj

          No stores still do it. Probably just your store doesn’t.

        • Rudy Belova

          You might want to tell your chicago group. The sign was still there as of 4 days ago at the t-mobile shop off the brown line. Northwest side of the city.

        • TMOTECH

          Brown line… Ha!

    • JustSaying

      Does this mean overtime Metro PCS stores will become branded as T-Mobile stores?.. hopefully they get rid of the ghetto locations lol .. or at least move them.

    • Amedeo Felice

      Absolutely It is refered to as Getro PCSHIT in florida

      • nell

        we call in metro peice of shit here too. CA

  • Santiago

    Does this mean that Tmo can start producing phones that run on Metros LTE network now aka Note II LTE for Tmo?!?!?

  • archerian

    “nipping at Sprint’s heals” .. heels.. small typo, please delete this after editing

  • mingkee

    This makes sense, but this applies to data part. How about voice calling?

    • mikkej2k

      MetroPCS has been working on VoLTE. I believe they are ahead of the other deployed LTE networks in this regard.

  • tony tala


  • I didnt know what Metro PCS was until August 2011 lol when i enrolled into college

    • eanfoso

      I didn’t know what it was until this chick I had sex with moved from Georgia to Texas, her husband called and I saw metro pcs on her phone

  • noelsito

    t-mobile is doing a great job of planning this! hopefully this all goes smoothly :)

    • Paul

      Yes, that’s my first response.
      I’m curious of how the speeds will match up compared to the other.

  • MatthewMurawski

    I don’t like this. T-Mobile should dump the metroPCS brand, use the spectrum for their own use, and migrate current metroPCS users and phones over to its network.

    • sounds good on paper :P its kinda hard to do… a lot of people may not like the charging policy of t-mobile :D we dont have a 39.99$ unlimited talk and txt

      • Amedeo Felice

        You can always use MVNA’s like simple mobile.. they are leasing the rights to the t-mobile network and they have unlimited talk-text and 4g web for $50

    • philyew

      That’s exactly what the migration plan outlines…it will take until 2015 to complete.

  • ccnet005

    I hope they’ll remain friendly to unlocked phones.

  • NT

    Will this also work vice versa with tmobile/unlocked phones like the iPhone 5 with AWS LTE running in MetroPCS’s network?

  • jaxgrim

    T-mobile is basically hijacking the iPhone. I love it.

    • huh?


  • sidekicker89

    so exactly how much money did T-Mobile pay for Metro PCS?.. doesn’t it seem like they got a pretty good deal for them? .. Just wish they had spectrum in Ohio :(
    By the way who else out there has valuable spectrum for T-Mobile to acquire? I’m guessing AWS spectrum is the most valuable for T-Mobile? I don’t know much about spectrum so just wondering.


      1.5 Billion. And They do have Spectrum in Ohio. They have Spectrum everywhere but Hawaii and Alaska. They just don’t have a network in Ohio which means is will be that much easier for us to use the spectrum when the time comes.

  • Perry_F

    Still trying to figure out how adding 9 million customers is good for tmo? As far as handsets go the metro line up is even worse than the tmo line up! Those added customers wont help in negotiations with the OEMs for better handsets since those customers cant afford the higher handsets!


      Its about the network. Spectrum Spectrum Spectrum

    • Amedeo Felice

      metro PCS actually always charged their customers full price for phones since they only offer prepaid no contract service.. basically the same way t-mobile does for off contract phones.. some of their phones are in the $400-$500 range and they sell well. OEM handset negotiations rely mostly on carrier commitment to pre-purchase certain number of handsets on release.. so the more clients to buy your phones the better your deal is because you are gonna want to commit to buy more handsets to market the device and ship to your brick and mortar stores..

    • WagTheDawg

      There is at least ONE good Metro phone. Amazon sells a new LG Motion 4G LTE prepaid Android phone for only $90 shipped! And this phone has outstanding customer ratings.

  • Mikey

    So does this mean that they’re changing the and that they’ll roll their LTE out on?

  • Amedeo Felice

    I think buying the extra Spectrum is awesome… who else thinks t-mobile should invest in buying other AWS band regional holders like cincinnati bell ?
    which would definately make it the third biggest carrier in the nation because it’ll have just a few thousand more subscribers than sprint. and a bigger stronger network that can definately compete with At&t

  • qpinto

    this sounds like a great transaction for tmobile. my only concern is will tmobile have the same issues as metropcs when it comes to calling someone and getting the “out of service” message. same with delayed text messages. you wont get them for awhile, but all of a sudden get all of them at once an hour later. is that a network problem or something else?

  • jay

    Does this mean

  • jay

    Does this mean metro users can buy T-Mobile phones soon? Im with metro and I need a new phone lol. Had mine for two years.

  • Johnny Cage Jr.

    i have a iphone 4 that’s tmobile can i use my metro pc sim?