As Sprint prepares to switch-on its 4G LTE network, it will become the third major carrier in the US to adopt the high-speed protocol. While those are big guys, they’re not the only LTE games in town, and MetroPCS has been offering LTE smartphones since early 2011. If you’re already familiar with the carrier and its LTE data offerings, it’s time for an update lesson, as MetroPCS has just announce a revamped pricing structure for its plans, along with new throttling restrictions.
The bad news is that prices are going up. Old plans are rising in price by five to ten dollars, with a $70 option replacing the old top-tier $60 plan. As for the throttling, that’s a bit of a mixed bag.
Before this change, MetroPCS had unlimited data on its expensive plans, and imposed some odd limitations on the cheaper plans, differentiating between data allowances for web browsing and media “streaming”. Thankfully, the new plans make no such silly distinctions. Instead, MetroPCS is going very T-Mobile with its throttling plans, offering subscribers a certain amount of LTE data each month, then falling-back to reduced speeds once it’s gone. As of now, only the $70 plan still gets unlimited data, with a 5GB LTE cap on the $60 tier.
On the plus side, these throttling rules should be easier to follow than the old system. As far as negatives, there’s the price hike and fewer unlimited data options. There’s also the factor to consider that the MetroPCS backbone doesn’t let its LTE speeds reach those of Verizon or AT&T, so the distinction between 3G and “4G” speeds should be much less appreciable. For full details on all the new plans, head on over to the MetroPCS site.