One of the leading wireless providers in prepaid segment, MetroPCS Communications, Inc. (PCS) has launched Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Service through the VoLTE enabled LG Connect 4G Android smartphone.
After being the first U.S. carrier to commercially launch LTE network in 2010, MetroPCS achieved another milestone by becoming the world’s first ever carrier to deploy VoLTE services. The service will be available through selected stores in the U.S. and the company expects to deploy VoLTE services and additional VoLTE enabled smartphones in the near term.
The company aims to deliver spectrum efficiency by shifting its customers to the VoLTE service. This move would increase network capacity and boost free spectrum currently utilized over voice and data services over CDMA network, leading to enhanced 4G LTE services.
MetroPCS is focused on expanding its footprint in the 4G LTE market. The company has already deployed high-speed 4G LTE services in most of its major markets and expects full coverage by the end of 2012. MetroPCS completed 90% of its 4G network build-out spread across 14 markets.
The company also believes that its transition from 3G to 4G will improve the existing CDMA platform, adding more network capacity to accommodate 4G services as well as reduce costs. The deployment of 4G services will also enable the company to focus on the post-paid market on non-contractual pricing plans providing an edge over its peers like United States Cellular Corporation (USM). MetroPCS also aims at more spectrum acquisitions in order to deliver optimum spectrum management for an improved wireless experience.
The company is hopeful of a gradual moderation in capital expenditures as customers shift toward 3G and 4G networks from CDMA platforms.
We are currently maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on MetroPCS with a Zacks #2 Rank (Buy).
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