MetroPCS has announced that starting today customers can visit a MetroPCS store in Boston, Dallas, Las Vegas or Hartford CT and purchase a MetroPCS SIM card. The SIM will let them use most unlocked GSM phones on the MetroPCS GSM network, which is actually the T-Mobile network. SIMs are not available online but MetroPCS says it they will be available in more cities soon.
The BYOP (Bring Your Own Phone) program supports iPhones, Android and Windows Phones and some feature phones. Metro says the BYOD SIM is not compatible with BlackBerrys, tablets, mobile hotspot devices and what it calls "Quick Messaging Devices".
Mini (aka regular), micro and nano SIMs are available. Metro's announcement doesn't say how much a SIM costs but Metro charges a $15 fee for in-store activation of its legacy CDMA phones, so perhaps the SIM will be the same price. There's no mention of LTE either although the site does promise 4G speeds which could just mean HSPA+. Las Vegas is one of the markets where T-Mobile has launched LTE service so I'll be watching for reports of MetroPCS LTE sightings from Lost Wages.
BYOP SIMS can be activated on any of MetroPCS' Monthly plans which include:
|$40 Unlimited Talk, Text and Data||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited 3G (4G speed reduced after 500 MB)1|
|$50 Unlimited Talk, Text and Data||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited 3G (4G speeds reduced after 2.5 GB)1|
|$60 Unlimited Talk, Text and Data||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited, Unthrottled|
These prices are $10 less than T-Mobile's own comparable prepaid monthly plans for the same amount of data at 4G speeds. Based on the GSM coverage map on the MetroPCS site it looks like voice and messaging roaming (partner coverage) is available just like it is with T-Mobile prepaid. If roaming is included, I wouldn't be surprised if T-Mobile blocks MetroPCS users from LTE as a differentiator.
GSM phones and SIMs are eligible for MetroPCS' Family Plan discount of $5 per line for up to 5 lines. CDMA and GSM lines can part of the same family plan.
Updated 6/13/2013 with throttled speed clarification and family plan details added.