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Report: MetroPCS customers get access to T-Mobile’s networks next week

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When two mobile operators merge, it can sometimes take a year or more before they get their network ducks in a row and fully integrate their back-end systems and services. It’s been barely a month since its acquisition of MetroPCS, but T-Mobile(s tmus) seems to have wasted no time. According to media reports, MetroPCS customers can start connecting GSM and HSPA phones to T-Mobile’s network next week.

PhoneArena has gotten hold of three internal T-Mobile screenshots that show MetroPCS will soon start selling two GSM/HSPA+ phones, the Samsung Galaxy Exhibit and the LG Optimus L9, and that customers will be able to bring unlocked GSM devices such as the iPhone(s aapl) to Metro as well. By virtue of using the global GSM standard, T-Mobile can actually start issuing SIM cards to Metro customers, which is exactly what it appears set to do.

T-Mobile screenshot acquired by PhoneArena
T-Mobile screenshot acquired by PhoneArena

To put this in context, AT&T(s t) spent years running two separate network operations — which it called Orange and Blue — after Cingular acquired AT&T Wireless. To be fair, T-Mobile isn’t merging its network with Metro’s. It’s shutting Metro’s CDMA systems down completely, harvesting their spectrum for future T-Mobile’s LTE and HSPA+ networks. T-Mobile, however, plans to maintain the MetroPCS brand for prepaid services, so this move represents more an integration of customer management and billing systems than it does a complete integration of operations.

Still, if PhoneArena’s report proves true, it shows T-Mobile is serious about completing its network overhaul as fast as possible. The faster it gets those MetroPCS customers off of CDMA phones, the sooner it can shut down Metro’s networks.

But there’s a definite benefit for Metro customers as well. They get access to much bigger variety of phones, including devices like the iPhone that were never available to them before. They will have to pay full cost for many of those devices, but since Metro is a prepaid carrier, its customers are already accustomed to paying sticker price. Also, previously every new MetroPCS customer had to buy a new phone when they activated their service. GSM allows them to bring old devices to the network.

6 Responses to “Report: MetroPCS customers get access to T-Mobile’s networks next week”

  1. I have a verizon note 2 flashed to metro pcs so only thing I need is a simcard my problem is what happens when all metro cdma is closed I got a bad feeling that tmobile will up metro plans to tmobile plans cause if I was a tmobile customer I will port my number to metro $40 plan for unlimited 3g service thats why tmobile will up metro plans to reflect there plans so they don’t lose money on tmobile end thats common sense TIME WILL TELL THE STORY!!!

  2. Lester

    Hey Tim, I found a Blackberry once. We were on an archeological Dinosaur bone dig, and found it next to a VCR underneath a petrified Dinosaur Egg. :)

  3. Still lots of uncertainty for the Blackberry users of MetroPCS – Its best that they Migrate to T-Mobile if they can afford to do so and escape that 1G only service provided by Metro