Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bullet Point Analysis: MetroPCS's 15 New Market Expansion & New Handsets

MetroPCS had multiple announcements. The first announcement focuses on expanded its smartphone portfolio with the Nokia Lumia 521 ($99) and LG Optimus F3 ($149). While handset announcements are less than notable on a strategy, there are small tidbits that one can glean. They are:

  • The  smartphones are not CDMA. This is a step to migrate the subscriber base to the T-Mobile network (100% goal in 2015) .
  • The Lumia is an HSPA+ only device and comes from the T-Mobile prepaid device stable. Moreover, it give MetroPCS a Windows Phone choice.
  • The LG Optimus F3 is HSPA+/LTE. Other carriers have the F3 in CDMA configuration. The F3 has better processor specs than the postpaid Optimus L9 offering. So the prepaid version bests a postpaid offering, albeit a tad smaller (4" vs 4.5" screen).   

The second press release was more interesting.  MetroPCS announced 15 new markets, expanding their total market reach to 30 markets.  With this announcement, the company has opened up for business in those markets along with distribution.  However, Metro will wait until September 1 for their advertising push. 

Of the 15 markets, 8 are Leap markets. T-Mobile's CEO has talked up a head-to-head match up against Leap. Interestingly some are in Texas, a Leap stronghold. One symbolic market that stands out is San Diego - Leap's corporate headquarters.  Key to the success will obviously be distribution - big box stores such as Best Buy and third party retailers. The company is looking for 200 doors in August with more in the fall.
  • Baltimore, MD - Head-to head against Leap/Cricket
  • Birmingham, Ala. - New market without retail Leap presence; Next major city that links up with Atlanta market
  • Cleveland and Akron, Ohio - adds to Great Lakes coverage
  • Corpus Christi, TexasHead-to head against Leap/Cricket
  • Fresno, Calif. - Head-to head against Leap/Cricket
  • Houston, TexasHead-to head against Leap/Cricket
  • Memphis, Tenn. - Head-to head against Leap/Cricket
  • New Orleans, LA  - New market without retail Leap presence
  • Rio Grande Valley, Texas  - Head-to head against Leap/Cricket
  • San Antonio and Austin, TexasHead-to head against Leap/Cricket
  • San Diego, Calif. - In Leap's backyard (its headquarters)
  • Seattle and Tacoma, Wash. - In T-Mobile's HQ area, no brainer in opening up distribution in the parent's backyard; New market without retail Leap presence
  • Tallahassee, Fla. - Rounds out MetroPCS's Florida coverage. New market without retail Leap presence
  • Toledo and Sandusky, Ohioadds to Great Lakes coverage; New market without retail Leap presence
  • Washington, DCHead-to head against Leap/Cricket