LTE News Wrap: MetroPCS Ships LTE Smartphone, Verizon Talks VoLTE

February 9, 2011

We are in the middle of working on one of our famed in-depth Sidecut Reports so pardon the lack of posts… for your reading pleasure some links to mobile headlines in the news and our instant analysis of same, starting with MetroPCS making good on its pledge to ship the “first” LTE smartphone in the U.S.

The fine folks at Engadget have a good hands-on review and all the news, including the pricing which is $399 for the device and $50 a month for 1 GB of data, or $60 a month for unlimited data. While MetroPCS’s devices and plans aren’t meant for the top end of the market I think the company’s strategy of offering more horsepower to the prepaid crowd is a smart one. With more full-featured phones like this Samsung Galaxy Indulge MetroPCS can go a long way toward satisfying an audience that may not ever need or want a PC, laptop or any other Internet device.

While some folks may try to equate MetroPCS’s network with Verizon’s because they use the same base technology, Long Term Evolution or LTE, don’t be confused — MetroPCS is not in the big-bits game that Verizon is playing in, and as such its plans won’t ever truly compete with Verizon (or AT&T, or Sprint’s) ability to provide much faster download speeds. Though MetroPCS uses LTE it also uses small spectral “channels” which means you might see faster than 2G speeds but you won’t see anything close to Verizon’s advertised 5 Mbps to 12 Mbps or Sprint/Clearwire’s 2 Mbps to 6 Mbps for their WiMAX network.

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