By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York — Samsung rolled out its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone to two more U.S. carriers, MetroPCS and C Spire.
No-contract carrier MetroPCS, purchased by T-Mobile earlier this year, has begun offering the handset at an unsubsidized $549 in its stores and through authorized dealers in the markets where T-Mobile has turned on LTE service. Those markets are Atlanta, Boston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Las Vegas, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Hartford, Conn.
Galaxy S4 availability through MetroPCS’s website, and the launch dates for additional T-Mobile LTE markets will be announced soon, the company said.
MetroPCS, which is operating independently as a T-Mobile subsidiary, is transitioning subscribers from its CDMA/LTE network to T-Mobile’s GSM/HSPA+/LTE network. MetroPCS is making GSM/HSPA+ and GSM/HSPA+/ LTE devices available to its customers for use on the T-Mobile network and also allowing customers to activate unlocked HSPA+ and LTE phones compatible with T-Mobile’s network. About 60 percent of MetroPCS customers upgrade their phones every year, and the company expects full subscriber migration to be complete by the end of 2015. T-Mobile also plans to integrate MetroPCS spectrum into its own network to build capacity.
With the S4 launch, MetroPCS is expanding its selection of LTE-equipped phones operating on T-Mobile’s network. The phones can be used with MetroPCS’s nationwide 4G plans at $40, $50 and $60, all with unlimited talk and texting and unlimited data, though the $40 and $50 plans offer full high-speed data up to only a certain amount of usage, after which data speeds slow down markedly.
For its part, post-paid regional carrier C Spire of Ridgeland, Miss., began offering the S4 through its website, company stores and telesales operation at $199 with new two-year contract.
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