Even if you've never thought seriously about joining MetroPCS, you've probably seen one of their stores at some point. The company maintains thousands of retail locations nationwide--over 11,000 by one count--and sell their plans and phones exclusively in-store.
MetroPCS offers a variety of low-cost prepaid unlimited talk and text plans. There are a range of plans to choose from based on the amount of data you need, from 2GB ($30) up to unlimited ($50). The nice thing about MetroPCS is that taxes and fees are included, so the price you see is the price you pay (amen). Read on to learn more about MetroPCS and why they may be the answer to your mobile needs.
- Tons of stores--you're never far from in-person help or sales
- Competitively-priced plans
- Stable network that performs well in metro regions
- Taxes and fees included
- Network lags in some rural areas
- Not available for purchase online
- Don't offer the personalized customer service of some of the smaller MVNOs
Value for Money
Coverage & Speed
How MetroPCS compares on pricing
MetroPCS specializes in a midrange price bracket of $30 to $70, with plans that include unlimited talk and text and 2GB of data all the way up to unlimited. If you're bringing your own phone to MetroPCS you'll be required to drop $10 upfront for one of their SIM cards; otherwise, there's no fee. And, of course, one of the best things about joining MetroPCS is that you don't have to go through a credit check!
Metro's more modest plans aren't the straight up cheapest out there-you'll find cheaper on the likes of TPO, Mint, and h2o (among others); it's the company's more feature-packed ones that provide the most value.
Like parent brand T-Mobile, Metro has moved in the direction of unlimited data. The company's $50 unlimited talk, text and data plan includes video streaming at DVD quality (480p) and up to 35GB before speeds are potentially slowed temporarily during high network congestion (data deprioritization). If you're looking for a hotspot allotment with your unlimited plan, you'll get an 8GB one for $10 more.
Apart from Sprint and Sprint MVNO Virgin Mobile's crazy unlimited promotions, MetroPCS's $50 unlimited plan is among the least expensive out there. Plus, you'll enjoy coverage that is superior to Sprint's (more on that in the next section). Here's a comparison:
Enjoy T-Mobile Network Coverage on MetroPCS
MetroPCS runs on T-Mobile's network, so know that if you're thinking about bringing your own device, only GSM phones will work (newer flagship phones tend to be both GSM and CDMA-compatible).
T-Mobile was once reputed to have the least reliable major network in the U.S., but their purchase of U.S. telecom outfits over the last few years has changed all that. Indeed, T-Mobile’s LTE coverage increased to 81% in the fourth quarter of 2016, now matching AT&T and nipping at the heels of Verizon. T-Mobile LTE coverage is as strong as, if not stronger than, its rivals in America's urban areas; in 2016, OpenSignal named T-Mobile's network the fastest.
While T-Mobile's network shines in many cities, it lags in certain rural areas of the U.S., falling behind, especially, Verizon. However, the company has been aggressively expanding in areas like the southeastern and western U.S., which will undoubtedly lead to more comprehensive coverage for T-Mobile and MetroPCS subscribers alike. Here's how the T-Mobile network scores in 280 U.S. markets:
Coverage Comparison (in 280 major markets)
|T-Mobile||95.1% coverage & reliability score|
|Sprint||93.9% coverage & reliability score|
|Verizon||97.5% coverage & reliability score|
|AT&T||96.3% coverage & reliability score|
Keep in mind that the latest phones always get the best coverage as they can tap into MetroPCS'/T-Mobile's 4G network; after all, wireless coverage is a combination of the network from the carrier (towers, antennas, infrastructure) AND your phone.
Things to Consider with MetroPCS
1. No online sales
Unlike many other MVNOs, MetroPCS does not maintain an online store where customers can sign up for plans and buy phones. This is likely because the company doesn't want to cannibalize the significant traffic their thousands of stores receive. Fortunately, the sheer number of Metro retail locations means you're likely not far from one; you can find one here.
Note that while you can't buy stuff on MetroPCS' website, you can easily pay bills on it.
2. Taxes and fees included, and no credit check
MetroPCS is a great choice if you're looking to avoid a credit check. Since you're required to pay in advance for your service each month, the company doesn't need to collect your personal financial information.
Another plus to MetroPCS is their policy of incorporating taxes and fees into their plan prices; after all, these can add up quickly--just ask someone who's been on Verizon or AT&T (like me).
3. Urban vs. rural coverage
As mentioned above, T-Mobile's network, which MetroPCS runs on, can lag in certain rural parts of the country. This makes it important to check your coverage using WhistleOut's address lookup tool.
Fortunately, T-Mobile/MetroPCS coverage tends to shine in cities.
4. Check phone compatibillity
If you're thinking about bringing your device to MetroPCS, you'll want to ensure that it is compatible with their network. You can check here.
Want to contact MetroPCS?
|Tweet @MetroSupport for help.|
About Metro PCS...
- Network: MetroPCS runs on T-Mobile's 4G LTE network. For 4G LTE, the carrier uses bands 4 and 12. These bands use the frequencies 1900, 1700 def, 700a. For phones using 2G or 3G network technology, the Metro PCS network primarily uses the 1900 MHz frequency.
- Coverage: MetroPCS runs on T-Mobile's network, consistently ranked #3 in national coverage.
- Where to Buy: Metro PCS has thousands of retail stores nationwide. Since you'll be unable to purchase your plan and phone online, finding a local retailer is a must.
- Bring Your Own Phone to MetroPCS: MetroPCS allows you to bring your own unlocked GSM (T-Mobile or AT&T) phone along with you. To check phone eligibility with Metro, go here.
- Tethering: Customers on Metro's unlimited plan can use their phones as hot spots.
Fact: You can enjoy the same great coverage as T-Mobile on MetroPCS, as it runs on the same network.