April 3, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
MetroPCS, famous for its flat rates and plan simplicity, is following the approach of larger carriers and showing that “unlimited” isn’t always unlimited. Now, the only way for customers to truly get unlimited access to its LTE network will be to upgrade to a $70 per month.
FierceWireless notes that the newly-installed data plans set up tiers that customers can choose, similar to the system set-up by AT&T and Verizon. However, the choices aren’t exactly very appealing in comparison to the larger carriers. At the moment, I pay Verizon $30 for 4GB of data (it would be 2GB if I didn’t sign-up during the double-data promotion).
Here’s what MetroPCS charges:
- $40 for 250 MB at 4G LTE speeds (speeds throttled after exceeding cap)
- $50 for 2.5 GB at 4G LTE speeds (speeds throttled after exceeding cap)
- $60 for 5GB at 4G LTE w/ Rhapsody subscription (speeds throttled after exceeding cap)
- $70 unlimited data with MetroSTUDIO Video on Demand.
For some MetroPCS customers, this won’t matter much because the previous plans prevented them from accessing some content when they reached their data cap (MetroPCS counts video or music streaming differently than web browsing.) The new throttling plan makes it possible to continue accessing the full web, but at a reduced speed.
MetroPCS has LTE service in 14 markets, and its network is slower, smaller, and less cost effective than AT&T and Verizon. However, MetroPCS’s calling plans are cheaper, which has helped the company attract subscribers. Building out an LTE network is expensive, and following Sprint’s failed attempt at acquiring the company, MetroPCS can’t has to adjust the way it does business if it hopes to continue attracting and retaining customers.