Executives at flat-rate carrier MetroPCS (NAS: PCS) said the company has no immediate plans to sell tablets to its customers, but it might add the devices to its product portfolio in the future. In an interview with FierceWireless at the company's Dallas-based headquarters yesterday, Tony Lau, staff vice president of handset product management, said that before MetroPCS will carry tablets, they have to "make sense for the company and our customers."
Lau added that he has been approached by many manufacturers to carry their tablets, but the company doesn't see any value in offering Wi-Fi-only tablets, which don't use the cellular network. And since MetroPCS doesn't have a 3G CDMA network, the company is content to wait until LTE-equipped tablets become more prevalent. "Tablets are sexy to offer right now. Just as we haven't offered dongles or USB modems, tablets aren't something we plan to offer right now," Lau added.
Verizon (NYS: VZ) Wireless sells a few LTE-capable tablets from the likes of Motorola Mobility (NYS: MMI) and Samsung. But Verizon's LTE network works on 700 MHz spectrum while MetroPCS' LTE network runs on AWS spectrum.
MetroPCS doesn't have a widespread 3G EV-DO network. Instead, the company decided to move straight from a CDMA 1X network to LTE. Nevertheless, the firm is deploying some EV-DO in its cell sites to augment its CDMA 1X service. The deployment, along with Wi-Fi offloading, serves as a bridge to help MetroPCS get more customers onto its LTE network.
MetroPCS' decision to hold off on deploying tablets is interesting in light of competitor Leap Wireless' (NAS: LEAP) recent revelation that it will discontinue its plan to offer a Wi-Fi-only ViewSonic Android tablet and instead focus on its growing lineup of smartphones.
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