By Stephen Schenck | May 17, 2012 3:14 PM
With the major US carriers already on-board with LTE or transitioning to it, you might think that we’d be seeing a new era of inter-carrier roaming and growing interest in unlocked handsets. After all, with LTE replacing HSPA+, EV-DO, and WiMAX, it should be easier than ever to find a phone that will work on multiple carriers, right? Unfortunately, that hasn’t really transpired, and radios with incompatible frequency coverage continue to get in the way of the dream of a world where choosing the best smartphone has nothing to do with which carrier supports it. Things might be looking up in the future, and MetroPCS has expressed its interest in taking-on some LTE users coming from other carriers, specifically in regards to the next iPhone.
Nothing’s concrete, but carrier execs discussed the possible arrival of an LTE-supporting iPhone as an opportunity in which they’d be interested. That would mean users buying iPhones intended for other carriers, having them unlocked, and bringing them over to MetroPCS.
Frequency support is still a big concern, but considering that MetroPCS offers LTE service on the AWS band, the same range used for some of AT&T’s LTE, it actually sounds plausible. Sure, AT&T’s not CDMA for voice like MetroPCS, so we’ll have to wait for the details on Apple’s hardware before knowing just how practical this might be.