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MetroPCS will flash existing CDMA handsets

Discussion in 'Wireless News' started by hank424, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. hank424

    hank424 Junior Member
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    Consumers Can Now Activate Their Existing CDMA Handsets on
    MetroPCS' Network, Offering the Freedom to Enjoy the Nation's Most
    Affordable and Flexible Wireless Service


    DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 26, 2008--MetroPCS Communications, Inc. (NYSE: PCS), the nation's leading provider of unlimited, flat-rate wireless communications service, announces the launch of MetroFlash(TM), allowing consumers to bring their compatible CDMA handsets to be used on MetroPCS' network. Coupled with its low cost, flat-rate unlimited wireless service, MetroPCS is further broadening consumers' freedom to enjoy more cost efficient, flexible wireless options. MetroFlash(TM) will eliminate for many consumers the requirement of having to purchase a new handset when signing up for MetroPCS service.

    Offering consumers the ability to join MetroPCS with their existing handset makes switching carriers easier - and more cost efficient - than ever, said Tom Keys, Chief Operating Officer of MetroPCS. Not since number portability have consumers been offered such a convenient option in switching service providers. With the rising cost of gas and food, consumers are looking for ways to reduce expenses and the launch of MetroFlash(TM), along with our flat-rate, unlimited low cost service plans, makes MetroPCS a more affordable wireless option.

    Customers using MetroFlash(TM) will receive a free month of service, plus unlimited local, long distance, voicemail and text messaging for $40 a month and pay a $30 fee. The service will be available at all MetroPCS company owned stores and select authorized dealers in all MetroPCS markets, excluding Las Vegas and Shreveport/Bossier City. Consumers can go to Unlimited Wireless Service - MetroPCS or a MetroPCS company owned store to determine if their phone is compatible with MetroFlash(TM).

    MetroPCS' unlimited, flat-rate wireless, no signed contract plans range from $30 to $50 per month and allow subscribers to talk all they want, 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week. Unlike most carriers, MetroPCS does not require a signed contract, which means that consumers can activate service without going through a credit check or paying a deposit. Many of the plans include unlimited features such as voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, three-way calling, text and picture messaging, push e-mail, mobile Internet browsing, mobile instant messaging, and Metro411, a voice-activated, premium directory assistance service. Additionally, MetroPCS offers unlimited family plans for an affordable low price.

    With approximately 4.4 million subscribers nationwide, continued consumer demand for MetroPCS' affordable, flexible, predictable, unlimited, no signed contract, flat-rate wireless service has been the driving factor behind the company's expansion across the country.

    Consumers can visit any of MetroPCS' authorized dealer locations and company-owned retail locations or visit MetroPCS' web site at Unlimited Wireless Service - MetroPCS to sign up for service plans, and choose from a lineup of wireless phones from the top handset manufacturers.
     
  2. hank424

    hank424 Junior Member
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    So this means I can use a CDMA handset that I have purchased from Sprint, Verizon Wireless, Alltel, U.S. Cellular, Leap Wireless or another CDMA operator. It doesn't say anything about any smartphones though. :confused:
     
  3. Bill Clinton

    Bill Clinton 10 years scandal free....
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    That's great to see Metro flashing phone from other carriers for use on their network. I think thats a very smart move for them. Not only can you bring your existing CDMA phone, but if you don't like their choice of phones you can buy a CDMA phone on eBay and have it flashed for use on Metro.
     
  4. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    It's a big hassle to re-flash firmware so I'm surprised they are willing to do this. I could see wait times at certain stores over an hour depending on how busy they are.
     
  5. cheddar

    cheddar Senior Member
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    It'll be interesting to see what they mean by "compatible CDMA handsets". That's a loophole you could drive a truck through.
     
  6. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    Im sure pre-GPS phones will be out. You can pretty much use any carriers UI as long as the phone is not locked to a network of the IMEI or ESN blacklisted.

    Its a pain to have another carriers UI especially the data settings but you can work around it.

    Verizon would be kinda a pain as it seems almost every menu and button take you to somewhere to buy something.
     
  7. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    They may not necessarily mean they'll flash every phone. I'm sure they can't do every model out there, and many others they'll probably just unlock them and program them with MetroPCS settings whenever a full flash is not necessary. I can see Verizon phones needing a full flash, though. Then, in order to avoid long waits, they'll probably just ask people to come back later on in the day or the following day depending on how busy they are. If you know what you're doing flashing or programming a phone takes only a few minutes.

    This is an old practice in countries like Dominican Republic where bringing US CDMA phones for activation is a normal everyday business transaction and almost every (Codetel [formerly Verizon Dominicana] or Centennial, or Tricom) store you go to could unlock/program or even flash almost any CDMA phone. Of course, a fee is always required for this. Although the sale of Verizon Dominicana in 2006 has transformed the technology landscape because they converted their network to GSM/UMTS so it makes it easier for imported phones being activated. They're the largest wireless carrier in DR.
     
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  8. walkguru

    walkguru Wireless Guru
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    i think that this is a great deal maybe others will start doing it too
     
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  9. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    I don't see them being able to do every cdma phone out there. Wouldn't they have to obtain new firmware versions from the manufacturers (ie. Samsung, Sanyo, Motorola, LG etc) in order to meet their particular requirements?




    EDIT: Had To Edit Larry's Typo :D
     
    #9 larry, Jun 26, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2008
  10. RadioFoneGuy

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    I think just a simple flash for the network settings and PRL and change 411 and 611 and any special numbers for balances etc.
     
  11. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    They probably just load the standard plain "brand-less" firmware if they have to. They probably have connections with the manufacturers to quickly download the firmwares. AFAIK, only the largest carriers will heavily customize and brand firmware. So I don't see MetroPCS loading customized menus and branded features on 3rd party phones. I can see them just unlocking the phones, resetting and wiping all to factory settings and reprogram the phones in most cases. This of course requires them to have a large collection of data cables, unlocking software and hardware and a vast database of secret "hack" codes to address most CDMA phones, and this they have to have at every location, and that's not counting the trained technicians they need to pay to do this. Sounds like a big investment.

    I wish every carrier had some sort of facility where customers can go and take care of this without having to go underground for it. Carriers are just losing all that business if you ask me.
     
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  12. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Yes they will have to have quite an extensive data cable inventory to be able to cover the many different phones people will bring in.
     
  13. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    That's not nearly as big a deal as most people think. There are companies that make equipment just for this task and they can be ordered with complete data cable adapter kits. It's no different than having all the cables needed to transfer peoples phonebooks from phone to phone.
     
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  14. hank424

    hank424 Junior Member
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  15. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    Nokia, HTC and Blackberrys are missing from the list.

    Nokia has been quiet due the qualcomm lawsuit, are they making CDMA phones anymore?
     
  16. hank424

    hank424 Junior Member
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    Of course HTC and Blackberrys are missing from the list. Its a smartphone sadly. I think Nokia be making gsm type phones now. A few Nokia cdma phones will come before year is over.

    Customer's sign a waiver that they will be voiding their warranty and that they will not be able to get assistance from us, the manufacturer, or the previous carrier after flashing their phone.
     
  17. nKrypteD1

    nKrypteD1 Software Architect
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    Remember HTC is branded as UTStarcom on Verizon, it's on the list as PPC-6700 under that name, that's the HTC Apache. So fret not, HTC is on the list, I'm sure blackberry is a different kind of animal though.
     
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  18. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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    it would just make sense on those "incompatible" phones to factory settings and firmwae.....even if it is just a regular phone not all phones will be compatible
     
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  19. love2sin

    love2sin New Member

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    I heard that MertoPcs will be offering MetroFlash at their corporate stores and at a few chosen Authorized Representative locations. Does anybody know how the FEW will be chosen? The software that is going to be used from what i hear is called "Houdini" I'd like to know more about this is this the manufactor or the platform. The software is going to cost about 300 bucks.. thats all i know for now.............:p
     
  20. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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  21. Dario

    Dario New Member

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    Hi there!
    I went to several metro PCS Stores and I've been doing some research. Metro flash works only on voice and SMS. No web, no MMS. Regarding to smartphones, in their website list is the samsung I830.
    And there is a guy in Fort Lauderdale (FLorida) who says that he can flash some smartphones and PDAs into Metro PCS including some internet acces on some of them. Here's the address where I found it. I have not talked to him yet, but I'm looking forward to it.
    FLASH YOUR PDA CELL PHONE WITH METRO PCS!!!!
     
  22. COtech

    COtech Bronze Senior Member
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    The biggest incompatibility, which cannot be solved by firmware, is wanting to use a PCS handset in one of MetroPCS's AWS markets. This article has a table of what spectrum is where.

    COtech
     
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