MetroPCS isn’t done tinkering with its data plans. On Thursday it revamped its rates for the second time in a year. Most significantly, Metro restored its $60 unlimited LTE data tier, one of the best deals in wireless.
In April, MetroPCS introduced soft caps and throttling. It kept unlimited data an option, but it raised the price of that plan by $10 to $70 a month. Apparently it’s had a change of heart because the new rates show a $60 all-you-can eat voice, text and data tier. But the regional prepaid carrier has also removed some of the perks that used to come with unlimited — no more Rhapsody Music subscription and no more video-and music-on demand downloads from its MetroStudio app. You can still get those services, you just have to subscribe to them separately for a $5 to $10 a month fee.
So if you liked all of Metro’s add on services you might wind up paying more, but I suspect most customers probably want to select their own multimedia options, and the $60 plan will wind up being a much better deal. If you’re already a Spotify subscriber, why pay $10 a month for a Rhapsody service your never use? (Rhapsody is probably too distracted by its massive European launch to notice.)
Metro is also offering two lower tiers, both with unlimited text and talk: a $50 2.5 GB plan and a $40 500 MB plan. After those caps are exceeded, Metro will throttle your speeds, but MetroPCS has a very gentle definition of throttling. According to the company it will slow you down to CDMA 3G speeds, which may be sub-megabit, but are much faster than the slow crawl most other carriers subject you to.
After several years of stellar growth, Metro has come on some hard times. Earlier this week it reported it a Q4 loss of 93,000 customers in a quarter carriers usually flourish. That brought its total subscriber losses for 2012 to 460,000. T-Mobile, however, is coming to the carrier’s rescue. It’s acquisition of the MetroPCS is expected to close in the second quarter.