In May 2013, T-Mobile officially closed the deal to acquire MetroPCS, the popular no-contract carrier. However, T-Mobile continued to run MetroPCS as a separate subsidiary of the main company. MetroPCS shared many of the same smartphones as T-Mobile, and of course, its phones used the same T-Mobile network. Having said that, MetroPCS stood apart from T-Mobile, offering affordable prepaid plans and no-contract smartphones, compared to the all unlimited plans and more expensive phones offered by T-Mobile.
In October 2018, MetroPCS lost part of its own identity, and it’s all thanks to a name change. The carrier is now called Metro by T-Mobile. Aside from the name change, it also revamped its two current unlimited plans, adding in some new features.
So what does this mean for you? Here is everything you need to know about the new Metro by T-Mobile.
Why change the name from MetroPCS to Metro by T-Mobile?
As we stated, T-Mobile officially acquired MetroPCS over five years ago. At the time of the merger, T-Mobile had about 32 million subscribers, and merging with MetroPCS added about nine million more customers. Over the next couple of years, T-Mobile shut down the older CDMA network used by MetroPCS in favor of its GSM network. Today, T-Mobile now has 75.6 million customers, and in its announcement for the name change, the carrier stated that MetroPCS’s subscriber numbers had doubled in the last five years since the merger, which means that it has about 18 million users.
So why make a name change to Metro by T-Mobile? According to the carrier’s CEO John Legere, they wanted to show that people who sign up to use their prepaid subsidiary will be getting a carrier that has nearly all of the features that T-Mobile provides, for a bit less money. The only difference in terms of using the network is that Metro by T-Mobile customers may experience a slow down in data speeds when a cell tower gets busy in the area, compared to normal T-Mobile customers.
While this is just speculation, it’s also perhaps a way to make customers think of T-Mobile, with all of its innovations in carrier plans, when they sign up for the rebranded Metro by T-Mobile.
Are there any changes to plans?
MetroPCS’s cheaper $30 and $40 plans remain mostly the same with the new Metro by T-Mobile name. The $30 a month will still offer 2GB of LTE data. The $40 a month plan increases that LTE data limit to 10GB, which is double the amount of data it used to have.
The carrier has heavily revamped its two current unlimited and more expensive plans with this name change. The $50 a month unlimited plan now throws in in 5GB of LTE hotspot data a month. It also has support for Google One, the personal cloud storage service from Google. In this case, the Metro by T-Mobile $50 a month plan includes 100GB cloud storage tier for Google One, which normally costs $1.99 a month or $19.99 a year.
The most expensive MetroPCS plan is $60 a month and includes unlimited data and 15GB of LTE mobile hotspot data. It also will include the Google One cloud storage service, plus one other extra feature; free access to Amazon Prime. That means those $60 a month Metro by T-Mobile customers will get all of the benefits of the Amazon Prime service, including its video streaming service, free two-day shipping on millions of items and much more. Amazon Prime normally costs $12.99 a month or $119 a year.
One other change with the new Metro by T-Mobile name is that all of the prices with these plans come with taxes and fees included. That’s been a major selling point for T-Mobile’s plans for some time, but it’s now extended to Metro by T-Mobile customers as well. The video streaming resolution will remain at 480p under the new Metro by T-Mobile, and unlimited plan users may experience speed throttling if they exceed 35GB of data before the end of their monthly billing cycle.
What are the Metro by T-Mobile phones and deals like?
Metro by T-Mobile currently sells about 30 smartphones, and you can take a look at our picks for the best Android phones you can buy from the carrier at this link. The carrier also sells the latest iPhone models from Apple, and they also happen to have the highest prices among the carrier’s phone lineup. Metro by T-Mobile also sells a mobile hotspot as well.
You can check out the current deals and promotions that are being offered by Metro by T-Mobile as well. Those deals including a way to get some phone for free.
What does this mean for the planned T-Mobile/Sprint merger?
In April, T-Mobile and Sprint announced plans to merge their carriers into one company, which would be called T-Mobile when it is completed. Assuming the merger is approved by federal regulators, this deal is expected to close sometime in the first half of 2019.
Sprint currently owns two pre-paid carriers; Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile. It’s likely that if the merger is completed, both of these carriers could be shut down in favor of Metro by T-Mobile. That possibility could factor whether or not US regulators may or may not approve the deal, as they may think that the merger could cut out the competition for other pre-paid carriers.
Metro by T-Mobile – Conclusion
The name change from MetroPCS to Metro by T-Mobile has been a pretty smooth one, and on the surface, it’s a major upgrade for customers who prefer a no-contract pre-paid plan. What do you think of this branding change? Let us know in the comments.