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MetroPCS goes live in LA

MetroPCS goes live in LA

MetroPCS Communications Inc. rolled out service in the Los Angeles market today, pitching its flat-rate, unlimited plans to Angelinos.
Roger Linquist, chairman and CEO of MetroPCS, said that the company’s initial network coverage includes 11 million potential customers. Metro said it has 400 L.A.-area authorized dealers and six company-owned retail stores, and plans to expand its distribution to 20 company-owned stores in the greater Los Angeles area in the next two years.
Customers who sign up for service will get their first month free with the purchase of a MetroPCS handset. MetroPCS’ service already is available in the northern California cities of San Francisco and Sacramento.
The carrier is in the midst of a public sparring match with competitor Leap Wireless International Inc. MetroPCS wants to merge with Leap, but Leap executives called its offer inadequate while acknowledging that combining operation had merit. Leap had called into question MetroPCS’ ability to launch markets on time, saying that MetroPCS’ L.A. launch was delayed and covered less area than the carrier had originally planned. MetroPCS has denied any delays; according to the carrier’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the carrier has for some time predicted that it would launch the L.A. market in the second or third quarter of this year.
Analysts do expect the companies to eventually come together, but whether that will happen in time for them to bid cooperatively in the upcoming 700 MHz auction is an open question.

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