MetroPCS' march toward a full LTE overlay continues today on news that it's expanding its nascent (and still tiny) next-gen network to Philadelphia and Los Angeles, two huge markets that should do a good job of stress testing what the network is capable of. As with its existing LTE markets, the only device available is the Samsung Craft, a landscape QWERTY slider dumbphone that offers access to the carrier's video-on-demand library on a 3.3-inch AMOLED display for $299 (no contract, mind you) after a $50 rebate. The move brings MetroPCS' launch total to five markets, with plans to expand to another nine in the coming months.

On a related note, the carrier has also introduced its so-called Metro USA service, essentially a brand name for nationwide coverage -- MetroPCS claims over 90 percent of the population, which ain't bad. Though it won't go into details, they're saying that the coverage has been reached through a combination of "both network expansion and roaming agreements" and that customers can expect a mix of 1xRTT and EV-DO (2G and 3G data, that is) as they move around. Follow the break for both press releases.

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MetroPCS to Launch Metro USA Nationwide Coverage

No annual contract, pay-in-advance wireless leader will expand unlimited wireless services coverage

DALLAS – (November 4, 2010) – MetroPCS Communications, Inc. (NYSE: PCS) announced its subscribers will be able to use their MetroPCS service in areas covering more than 90% of the U.S. population with the introduction of its Metro USASM nationwide service that launches today. MetroPCS customers can begin to enjoy unlimited talk, text and Web services wherever they go in the nation on their existing MetroPCS service plan.
"Metro USA is yet another key milestone for our company as we have expanded nearly everywhere where our customers may use their service in the majority of the United States," said Roger Linquist, chairman, president and CEO of MetroPCS. "Our customers already benefit from the affordability, flexibility and predictability of our Wireless for AllSM service, and now they can use their wireless services nearly anywhere they go in the nation. Consumers demand a better experience with more value without being tethered to an annual contract, which is why we expect the addition of Metro USA, at no additional cost, to make our wireless services more attractive."
MetroPCS' Wireless for All unlimited plans range from $40 to $60 per month, including applicable taxes and regulatory fees, and the company has a full portfolio of handsets ranging from smartphones, messaging devices and feature handsets for every budget and lifestyle. Additionally, MetroPCS enables consumers to do more with 4G services with new service plans launched in Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

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MetroPCS Launches First Commercial 4G LTE Services in Los Angeles and Philadelphia Metropolitan Areas

World's First 4G LTE Phone, the Samsung Craft™, Allows Consumers to Take Advantage of the Multimedia-rich Experience

DALLAS – (November 4, 2010) – MetroPCS Communications, Inc. (NYSE: PCS) today launched commercial 4G LTE services in the Los Angeles and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, enabling those consumers to do more with entertainment, social networking, 4G Internet access – all on the world's first commercially available 4G LTE-enabled multimedia handset, the Samsung Craft™. As the leading provider of no annual contract, flat-rate wireless services, MetroPCS is upgrading its networks to enable customers to do more with 4G while continuing to provide unlimited talk and text as low as $55 per month, including taxes and regulatory fees.

"Our value-conscious consumers are looking to do more with wireless services and handsets, including quick and easy access to social networking sites, 4G Internet browsing and streaming music and video content," said Roger D. Linquist, chairman, president and CEO of MetroPCS. "As the only no annual contract, pay-in-advance service provider offering 4G LTE services, we are building on the successful commercial launches of 4G LTE service in Las Vegas, Dallas/Fort Worth and Detroit with the launches of our 4G LTE service in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. With a compelling handset line-up and a superior network, we deliver unmatched value with the flexibility, predictability and affordability that consumers demand."

Consumers throughout Los Angeles and Philadelphia now have access to unique features available only on the Samsung Craft including:

- MetroSTUDIOSM, powered by RealNetworks, available on the $60 service plan, offering access to entertainment content, such as full-track downloads, ringtones and ring-back tones, as well as premium video content from NBC Universal, Black Entertainment Television (BET) and Univision, available on-demand and on-the-go from one easy-to-use application.

- A new social networking and instant messaging application which harnesses friends and content from Facebook, MySpace and Twitter social networks, and AIM, MSN and Yahoo! IM clients into a single interface that consumers can access with one click.

- Upgraded MetroNavigator® feature includes new voice-activated GPS and turn-by-turn directions.

MetroPCS is offering the Samsung Craft in Los Angeles and Philadelphia area stores and online for $299 plus tax after $50 instant rebate, while supplies last. The device operates with a 3.3 inch AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) screen, and comes with a 2GB MicroSD card pre-loaded with Paramount Pictures' hit movie "Star Trek - The Future Begins." The Samsung Craft also contains a combination touchscreen, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, Samsung's TouchWiz™ user interface to surf and text message, 3.2 megapixel camera with flash and camcorder and Wi-Fi capability.

With the launch of service in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, MetroPCS now provides 4G LTE services in five major metropolitan cities, including Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit and Las Vegas. MetroPCS intends to expand its 4G services into additional major metropolitan areas later this year and into early 2011, including Atlanta, Boston, Jacksonville, Miami, New York, Orlando, Sacramento, San Francisco and Tampa. Additionally, MetroPCS is committed to meeting consumers' demands relating to the small screen, and has plans to introduce new handsets and smartphones in the future.