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MetroPCS GSM BYOP Launched in Boston, Dallas, Hartford and Las Vegas

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:

Plan Voice Messaging Data
$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
1 Throttled speed is advertised as "3G". MetroPCS' Terms of Service state that the average download speed on the legacy EVDO network is 100 Kbps. Speeds on the T-Mobile HSPA 3G network are unspecified but likely to be higher.

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.

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15 comments:

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  1. MetroPCS has a "by the minute" plan which customers purchase refill cards at Walmart to re-charge their accounts. They are in $20 and $30 denominations and use a PIN number. Customers call an 800 number for refills.
    WILL THESE PLANS STILL BE AVAILABLE WITH THE TRANSITION TO GSM?????????

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    1. I don't think Metro's calling plans will change in the near future, the only thing you have to worry about is all of Metro's phones are only good for no more than 2 years, once T-Mobile shuts down Metro's CDMA network, and migrate customers to its own GSM/LTE.

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    2. Hopefully that is all.

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  2. "I'll be watching for reports of MetroPCS LTE sightings from Lost Wages.
    Looks like the spellchecker just got back from Vegas ;-)

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    1. i too thought it was a typo but then realized maybe it really is a euphemism ... it would make sense.

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  3. sounds like the only lost benefit is tethering/hotspot?

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    1. Hotspot is a $10/month add-on for LTE phones on Metro's $50 and $60 plans. I wonder if it's also available with GSM phones.

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    2. $40 plan i'm on I love my unlimited 3G data with no throttling under 3g speed throttling speed I see say 128 kbps thats 1x if thats right it means I must go to the $60 plan to get unlimited 3G I know $60 say 4g but thats not the point tmobile forcing people like me to go to the $60 PLAN OR GO TO BOOSTMOBILE WHICH IS $55 AND GOES. DOWN TO $35 IN 18 MONTHS

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    3. Are you sure your $40 MetroPCS CDMA plan is unthrottled? There's supposed to be throttling to about 148 Kbps after 500 MB on CDMA too. If you are getting 3G speeds after 500MB I think it's glitch that you are lucky to have.

      Also the the Boost Android plan is $40 after 18 months not $35.

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  4. This is certainly a development worth following! Especially, if available on T-Mo's GSM network. It might be enough for me to buy an unlocked GSM iPhone 5.

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  5. If tmobile is throttling a person down to 128 kbps thats hugh that means no youtube or anything that require 3gs speed!!when I get unlimited 3gs speed for $40 on metro now with my verizon note 2 with speeds varying from 2100 kbps to 1000 kbps all the time if tmobile planning on throttling metro pcs consumers like that we the consumers just got play but this merger it means that WE THE CUSTOMERS MUST GO TO THE $60 DOLLAR PLAN FOR THE SO CALLED UNLIMITED 4G DATA EVEN $60 IS CHEAPER THEN THE TOCUSTUR MY POINT IS $40 FOR UNLIMITED 3G IS BETTER THEN $60 FOR 4G PRICE WISE $50 PRICE JUMP! WOW!!!

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    1. Dear sir I got a verizon note 2 flashed to metro also I had the sprint s2 droid x2 during the last 3 yrs all with the $40 plan no 4g data speeds was 3g all the time high speed 3g 1000 kbps to 2100 on the averages sometimes it dropped to 680 kbps metro pcs states after u use 500 mb of 4g its 3G unlimited with there 4g phones if no 3G means no youtube videos or anything that require 3G speed if tmobile dropping speed to 1x or 2x thats a bad thing boost 24 months $35 my mistake on that

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  6. Tmobile got to block 4g from metro pcs people because if I was a tmobile customer and metro pcs paying $50 for 2.5 4g data and 60 for unlimited 4G why should I pay tmobile $70 I will go to metro and save $10 or more depending on the plan I need! WOW!!! HOW WILL TMOBILE PLAY THIS CAUSE MONEY rules!!

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    1. Gregg:

      In business, it's called market segmentation or different marketing channels. There are people who would consider Metro but won't consider tmobile despite being part of the same company / network.

      It's also the same reason to pay less on Verizon's network when on StraightTalk or on Page Plus.

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  7. If metro keeps it $40 plan with unlimit 3g it will stay the cheapest plan in the usa with tmobile coverage plus the new spectrum from metro smart people should be switching like wild fire real soon to go mobile and save

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