As a further sign that next-gen mobile infrastructure is getting wide adoption, secondary player MetroPCS has announced that it will have a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in place by the end of the year.
MetroPCS is a wireless service provider that caters to customers who don’t want to sign in to a contract or who have bad credit and cannot qualify for a plan on the major providers like Verizon and T-Mobile. MetroPCS covers 20 markets and has over 6 million customers.
The company’s LTE network is running on a competing format than Sprint’s 4G service, which will launch on mobile phones this summer and uses a different technology called WiMax. Verizon is also using LTE technology to upgrade the network for its subscriber base, the largest in the country.
The Samsung SCH-r900 will be the first from MetroPCS to offer 4G connectivity. The device has a 624 MHz processor, 128 MB of RAM, a 3.2-inch display, and the Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system.
The first mobile device to run on a 4G network will be Sprint’s Evo from HTC, which is due out in the next few months. Upgraded networks will offer download speeds at up to 10 times what current smartphones can do. It is one of the costliest undertakings that the mobile industry has ever gone through.