Is it possible that in front of our eyes, the US wireless market is opening up? It seems this is the case as MetroPCS Communications has just opened its network, allowing customers to bring devices from other networks which will be reprogrammed in the company’s stores. The carrier is based on CDMA technology meaning you can bring certain Verizon, Alltel and Sprint phones to your local MetroPCS dealer if you are interested.
According to the AP, MetroPCS’s network covers 14 large cities, including Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas. It had 4.4 million subscribers at the end of March. This means the wireless carrier is the largest one in the US to allow such a practice.
This is a very good sign and in a small way offsets the success of the iPhone which is one of the most locked down devices in recent memory. Certainly this move will put some pressure on other carriers to do the same.
T-Mobile and Sprint being the weakest US wirless players “of size” are likely first in line to do something similar.