MetroPCS Launches LTE Network in Las Vegas

MetroPCS Communications Inc. (PCS) said it switched on its fourth-generation wireless network in Las Vegas as the prepaid carrier makes a big push into data services.

The Dallas company is the first U.S. carrier to offer a 4G network that runs on Long-Term Evolution, or LTE, technology. It comes ahead of Verizon Wireless (VZ), which plans to turn on its own LTE network by the end of the year, and AT&T Inc. (T), which has set its own 4G ambitions for next year.

The aggressive push to 4G illustrates the importance of data services—even for a prepaid provider like MetroPCS that traditionally serves the low end of the wireless market with phone calls.

“More than half of our customers use their handset as their primary access to the Web,” MetroPCS Chief Executive Roger Linquist said in an interview. “What we needed is a better experience.”

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