Ina Fried

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Taking Aim at Cricket, T-Mobile Moves MetroPCS Into 15 New Markets

T-Mobile followed through Thursday on its promise to quickly expand its recently acquired MetroPCS brand into new cities.

tmobile_metropcs

The company announced a $40-per-month service and a pair of new devices that will come to 15 new markets as part of the MetroPCS expansion.

In the new cities, the MetroPCS brand will be used atop T-Mobile’s network but set up its own stores, mostly through third-party exclusive dealerships.

MetroPCS will offer two new handsets in the new cities — the Nokia Lumia 521 Windows Phone and LG’s Optimus F3 Android device. Customers will also have the option of choosing from six other models or bringing their own device.

The “$40, period” rate plan includes unlimited talk, text and data (including 500 megabytes of high-speed data), as well as taxes and fees for $40 per month.

“We’re doubling the reach of MetroPCS in one fell swoop,” T-Mobile chief marketing officer Mike Sievert said in a phone interview on Thursday. MetroPCS’ current operation reaches about 100 million people. With the new cities, MetroPCS will be available to an additional 40 million people, with more markets planned for before the end of the year.

The move comes as T-Mobile rival AT&T is looking to acquire MetroPCS rival Leap Wireless, which sells under the Cricket brand. T-Mobile completed its MetroPCS purchase in May.

Cricket markets are a major focus of T-Mobile’s expansion plans for MetroPCS, CEO John Legere said in an interview earlier this month.

“The vast majority of where we are headed are Leap markets,” Sievert said. “AT&T is going after Leap, [but] it is going to take them months to get this done. Our view is, Leap customers deserve a better experience.”

The new MetroPCS markets are:

● Baltimore, Md.
● Birmingham, Ala.
● Cleveland and Akron, Ohio
● Corpus Christi, Texas
● Fresno, Calif.
● Houston, Texas
● Memphis, Tenn.
● New Orleans, La.
● Rio Grande Valley, Texas
● San Antonio and Austin, Texas
● San Diego, Calif.
● Seattle and Tacoma, Wash.
● Tallahassee, Fla.
● Toledo and Sandusky, Ohio
● Washington, D.C.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald