MetroPCS changes name to Metro by T-Mobile, adds Amazon Prime and Google storage perks to phone plans

T-Mobile CEO John Legere introduces Metro by T-Mobile, formerly known as MetroPCS. (T-Mobile Photo)

MetroPCS, which merged with T-Mobile five years ago, is rebranding and adding some interesting new perks to its smartphone plans.

Now under the name Metro by T-Mobile, the pre-paid wireless provider has added plans that include an Amazon Prime membership and access to Google One, which features expanded storage and a quick line to Google experts. T-Mobile said the new name and perks are meant to change the perception of pre-paid phone plans as having bad service and a lack of phone options because they are lower cost.

Metro by T-Mobile retains its two traditional plans at $30 and $40 a month respectively, with additional lines costing $30 each. Metro added two new plans: For $50, users get unlimited data, 5GB of LTE mobile hotspot access and Google One. And for $60 a month, hotspot data triples to 15GB, and Amazon Prime, with benefits like free two-day shipping and access to Amazon Prime Video, is included as well.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere teased the Metro by T-Mobile unveil over the weekend on Twitter.

Metro claims that customers will save $1,000 annually on its two new plans versus comparable options from ATT and Verizon.

“It drives me crazy that literally millions of hard-working people are struggling to get by yet feel stuck with ATT and Verizon because they think prepaid wireless is subpar,” Legere said in a statement. “That’s outdated thinking!”

The flip side of that savings is that Metro by T-Mobile customers are lower priority when networks get overloaded. But otherwise, the company says, Metro customers have access to the same network as T-Mobile users.

Metro by T-Mobile today has more than 18 million customers, a figure the company says has doubled over the last five years. In 2013, Metro’s coverage area included 103 million people, and today that figure is at more than 323 million. Metro used to operate in just 15 cities, but now it is active nationwide with more than 10,000 retail locations.

T-Mobile completed a deal to merge with MetroPCS in 2013, and as part of the alliance infused $1.5 billion into the company. T-Mobile is in the midst of a massive acquisition of former wireless rival Sprint.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission recently paused a 180-day clock to review the merger, stating a need for more time to analyze additional documents and information. If approved, the deal would create a $146 billion company based in Bellevue, Wash. led by Legere.

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