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MetroPCS to Begin Selling GSM phones and BYOP SIMS June 12

When T-Mobile acquired MetroPCS May 1 they made it clear that they would be keeping the MetroPCS name but shutting down Metro's CDMA network and moving its customers to new GSM phones running on the T-Mobile network. The switch over is supposed to start this year and will be gradual with the Metro CDMA network not shutting down until the middle of 2015.

It looks like the first phase of Metro's CDMA to GSM migration is about to begin. PhoneArena has obtained leaked internal documents that indicate MetroPCS stores will begin selling GSM based phones and Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) SIMs on June 12.

The first two Metro GSM phones are both models currently sold by T-Mobile, the well regarded LG Optimus L9 and the confusing named new Samsung Galaxy Exhibit. This Exhibit (model SGH-T599) is a different phone than either the 2011 Samsung Exhibit 4G (SGH-T759) or last year's Samsung Galaxy Exhibit 4G (SGH-T679). According to PhoneArena, the newest Exhibit is sold as the Galaxy S III Mini in other markets. It features a dual core 1 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, 12 GB of available internal storage, 5MP main and .9 MP front-facing cameras and a 4 inch 480x800px screen. The leak doesn't mention phone prices but I expect the L9 to be about $200 and the Exhibit around $180 on Metro.

The documents say MetroPCS GSM SIMs will work with "compatible" unlocked GSM phones including iPhones, Android phones, Windows Phones and "certain" feature phones. I suspect that with correct APN settings the SIM will work in almost any unlocked or T-Mobile locked GSM phone. PhoneArena says BlackBerrys won't be "accepted" which likely just means no BIS support. There's no mention of whether LTE will be supported with the MetroPCS SIM.

Source, image: PhoneArena

Related:
MetroPCS, T-Mobile Merger Finalized - What it Means for MetroPCS Customers

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12 comments:

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  1. Dennis, have you heard anything further about Aio Wireless going nationwide? I'm really waiting for Aio.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not really. A few days before Aio's limited launch on May 9, FierceWireleess reported that AT&T would launch "All in One" Wireless june 15. When Aio launched, an Aio spokesperson said the nationwide launch would be "later this year".

      I think June 15 is unlikely. The launch target is probably either late July, early August for back to school sales or mid October for the holidays.

      Delete
  2. Hello Dennis,
    Are the SIMS for the BYOP sold at MetroPCS stores, or do I have to go to a T-Mobile store for those SIMS??
    I have 2 phones already on their CDMA and wish to change over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MetroPCS BYOP SIMs will be available in MetroPCS stores starting June 12. I don't expect MetroPCS SIMs to be available in T-Mobile stores.

      Delete
  3. Curious about your source for those prices. Wal-Mart sells T-Mobile's L9 for $200, in either a T-Mobile or Walmart Family Mobile box, but T-Mobile Prepaid seems to be currently charging $240, plus $50 for a $50 refill card -- strange to require it like that and call it a "limited time offer". Unclear whether T599 will be more or less than L9: based on specs alone less would seem to make sense, but phone pricing doesn't always make sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No source, just my guesses.

      My reasoning is that T-Mobile raised their prepaid phone prices when they launched their "Un-carrier" plans with unsubsidized post-paid phone prices. They raised the prepaid prices to encourage customers to chose postpaid by making the prepaid option appear less attractive.

      Metro is pure prepaid and needs to quickly get as many users as possible o CDMA for a number of reasons:
      - to free up CDMA spectrum so T-Mobile can use it for LTE expansion
      - to avoid customer care getting swamped by users who wait until the last minute to to switch to GSM
      - to minimize the number of free GSM handsets they have to give away when they turn off CDMA

      Therefore I expect the the MetroPCS GSM handsets to be priced more aggressively than the same phones on T-Mobile prepaid.

      The T599 is available on T-Mobile post paid for about $20 less than the L9 hence it will likely be less on Metro

      Delete
  4. yeswap are you sure the new version of the Exhibit is a 4inch screen? initially I heard it would be then I saw a phonescoop post from a few days ago about the specs and said it is a 3.8 inch screen with 800 x 480 pixel screen not the 480x800px screen you posted. here is the article http://www.phonescoop.com/articles/article.php?a=12445 ? ijust curious which is right?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I've also seen both 4" and 3.8" listed. I'm leaning toward 4' because the Galaxy S III Mini, which is supposed to be the same phone, does have a 4" screen

      Delete
  5. i know you are familiar with this site but based on this it is starting to like 3.8 inch screen on this article it shows a leaked training document which includes specs here is the article from today http://www.tmonews.com/2013/06/leaked-screenshots-show-two-t-mobile-based-devices-heading-to-metropcs-bring-your-own-phone-begins-june-12th/ also it would of helped if the t-mobile website included the screen size but they don't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OTOH, PhoneArena, the site that first published the photos that everyone else is using wrote,

      "A 'cheat sheet' for MetroPCS reps shows the device sporting a 3.8 inch display although the device actually has a 4 inch screen."

      We won't really know how big the screen is until someone takes a tape measure to it.

      Delete
  6. Mpcs begins to use BYOP. Great deal! bring your own phone right now

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. As long as you feel like driving to your closest store in Boston, Dallas, Hartford Conn. or Las Vegas.

      Delete
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