MetroPCS (PCS) in June 2008 became the first major U.S. carrier to publicly offer to unlock phones sold by a competing service provider. Under the offer's terms, MetroPCS will unlock phones originally sold by Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel (S), Alltel, or any other carrier whose network is based on CDMA (code division multiple access), the technology MetroPCS uses. MetroPCS will unlock the phone and provide a month's worth of calling for $30.
MetroPCS recently launched services in Las Vegas, Jacksonville, and Bakersfield. It will roll out service in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia within a year. These heavily populated urban centers give MetroPCS access to plenty of new customers.
MetroPCS spends roughly $16 per month providing wireless services to its customers. This figure is much lower than the industry average of $26. With high competition in the wireless industry, MetroPCS should be able to compete sufficiently with its low-cost structure.
MetroPCS's customer growth rate exceeds all its industry peers. The company has averaged an annual increase in customers of 52% over the past five years. MetroPCS added over 1 million in 2007 and had another 450,000 join in the first quarter of 2008.