While the major, national carriers are looking to deploy their 4G LTE networks in a couple years’ time, regional carrier MetroPCS has been quietly shoring up their own LTE roll-out plans. Today, we’re hearing that MetroPCS will be looking to deploy their own high-speed mobile broadband network in the second-half of 2010. With just 14 US markets under its thumb, MetroPCS has far fewer infrastructure deployment obstacles to hurdle before it can claim to have a fully deployed LTE network.
MetroPCS COO Tom Keys tells GigaOm that a solid time-frame for MetroPCS’s LTE launch hasn’t yet been set, but “It is our desire to deploy LTE in 2010, probably the latter half.” When pressed about his company’s lack of any real smartphones to use with the 4G LTE network, Keys says that MetroPCS expects a “Canadian smartphone maker” to come into play in Q2 or Q3 this year. Does anyone smell BlackBerry in MetroPCS’s network?
If Keys’s plans become reality in 2010, Verizon will have an even tougher time convincing its subscribers to pay what we’d imagine will be a premium for Verizon’s LTE network versus the lower-cost MetroPCS network. Although, a lack of LTE data cards may relegate MetroPCS to the outskirts of the LTE ecosystem.
All eyes are on MetroPCS to deliver a lower-cost mobile broadband solution to consumers!