MetroPCS Adds Detroit To LTE Launch List

MetroPCS on Wednesday announced the launch of its Long Term Evolution 4G network in Detroit, Michigan.
MetroPCS was the first wireless network operator to commercially deploy LTE in the U.S. It launched first in Las Vegas and followed that quickly by lighting up the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Detroit is the discount carrier's third LTE market.

With LTE now live in Detroit, MetroPCS customers in that area have access to the Samsung Craft, which is the first LTE handset available in the U.S. The Craft costs $299 after an instant $50 rebate. Plans cost $55 and $60, which includes taxes and fees. MetroPCS indicates those price points include unlimited talk, text, and 4G data (though the "unlimited" part of that equation isn't going to last forever).

The monthly fees includes access to a number of services from MetroPCS, including streaming video and streaming music on-demand, as well as "premium content" from NBC Universal, BET, and Univision. MetroPCS says that it has updated its navigation software, as well as its social networking software, which can now be used to aggregate Twitter, Facecbook, and other feeds into one spot.

As for the first LTE phone, well, it's probably not what you hoped it might be. First, it is not a smartphone. Sadly, the Samsung Craft runs BREW with Samsung's home-cooked TouchWiz user interface. It has a 3.3-inch AMOLED display, 3.2 megapixel camera with flash and video capture, and it has GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth on board. It comes with a 2GB microSD card with the newest Star Trek movie preloaded.

It is a dual-mode device, which means it can run on 3G and 4G networks. MetroPCS' 3G footprint is fairly limited, and LTE is available in just three metro regions. LTE coverage is coming to more cities soon, including Atlanta, Boston, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Sacramento, San Francisco and Tampa.

MetroPCS still hasn't spelled out what sort of wireless download speeds users can expect, which is a bit of a disappointment. Verizon Wireless is promising between 5Mbps and 12Mbps on the download. MetroPCS did say, however, that users will not be able to tether the Craft to a laptop or provide wireless data to other devices.

"With the launch of Detroit's first and only commercial 4G LTE service and the Samsung Craft, MetroPCS is giving Detroit customers the power to do more with the mobile Internet every day, when and where they need it," said Glen Flowers, vice president and general manager of MetroPCS Michigan in a prepared statement. "By offering premium 4G LTE service on a no-contract basis, Detroit residents will be able to seamlessly access social networks, find the best route to work, catch the latest hit TV shows, or download and share music, video and photos all from the palm of their hand."

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