This page provides information about MetroPCS’s Broadband Internet Access Services. “Broadband Internet Access Services” refers to services that provide the capability to transmit data to and receive data from all or substantially all Internet endpoints. The network practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms applicable to MetroPCS’s Broadband Internet Access Services over our 2G, 3G, and 4G networks are described below. This page does not describe the practices, characteristics, or terms that apply when using roaming partner networks. This page also includes links to other MetroPCS documents containing further information applicable to our Broadband Internet Access Services.
This information applies to all of MetroPCS’s services.
For questions or concerns not addressed here, please contact our Customer Care department at www.metropcs.com, by calling 1-888-8METRO8 or 611 from your device, or by writing to MetroPCS Wireless, Inc., PO Box 601119, Dallas, TX 75360.
What terms and conditions apply to MetroPCS Broadband Internet Access Services?
Broadband Internet Access Services are subject to the MetroPCS Terms and Conditions at https://www.metropcs.com/terms-conditions/terms-conditions-service.html. Specific information about our Broadband Internet Access Services can be found under the heading “Data Access.” Certain uses of our network are also prohibited as described in our Terms and Conditions under the heading “Termination.”
What data plans and pricing does MetroPCS offer?
MetroPCS offers mobile Broadband Internet Access Services for smartphones, basic phones, tablets, and other wireless devices over our 2G, 3G and 4G broadband networks. Your data plan may feature a designated allotment of high-speed data, after which your data speed may be reduced for the remainder of the cycle. If your data plan features a designated allotment of high-speed data, certain uses of the network may not count against that allotment.
All current MetroPCS plans include video optimization features that are always enabled, which, when connected to the cellular network, deliver a DVD quality (typically 480p or better) video experience at up to 1.5 Mbps with minimal buffering while streaming ("Data Maximizer"). Customers may, for an additional charge, add on a native resolution video feature, disabling optimization for their device. Some qualifying video providers may choose to self-optimize their video content or opt-out of the Data Maximizer program The Data Maximizer optimization technology is not applied to the video services of these providers, video from these services will stream at native resolution, and high-speed data consumption will continue as if Data Maximizer were not enabled. None have done so as of this date. Additional information, including technical criteria for Data Maximizer program participation, is found here.
For more information about our current data plans for our services, including prices, terms, and conditions, high-speed data allotments and other features, please see the following:
What speeds and performance can MetroPCS Broadband Internet Access Services customers expect? Where are these speeds available?
Many factors affect the speed and performance that customers experience, including the programs running on the device, your proximity to a cell site, the capacity of the cell site, the surrounding terrain, use inside a building or moving vehicle, radio frequency interference, how many other customers are attempting to use the same spectrum resources, the high- speed data allotment and other features of your data plan, or data use that is more than what is used by the fraction of MetroPCS customers who use more than 35GB of data in a month. Additionally, all current MetroPCS data plans include the Data Maximizer feature, which uses video streaming optimization when connected to the cellular network to deliver a DVD quality (typically 480p or better) video experience with minimal buffering while streaming at up to 1.5 Mbps that is always enabled, with the option to add a feature at an additional charge to enable HD video streaming. Some qualifying video providers may choose to opt out of the Data Maximizer program, but none have done so as of this date. The Data Maximizer optimization technology is not applied to the video services of these providers; video from their services will stream at native resolution, and high speed data consumption will continue as if Data Maximizer were not enabled. Also, as discussed below, as a feature differentiating MetroPCS-branded service and plans from T-Mobile-branded services, data of customers who choose T-Mobile branded service plans has precedence over data of customers who choose non T-Mobile-branded service plans, such as MetroPCS, when the network is presented with competing demands.
Customer devices also have varying speed capabilities and may connect to different networks depending on technology. Even within coverage areas and with broadband-capable devices, network changes, traffic volume, outages, technical limitations, signal strength, obstructions, weather, and other conditions may impact speeds and availability.
The term “speed” is commonly used as a shorthand way to describe the rate at which a particular broadband Internet access service can transmit data. This rate (or speed) is typically measured in the number of kilobits or megabits that can be transmitted in one second (Kbps or Mbps). Some applications like email or basic web browsing do not require a high data speed to function very well, while other activities like high-definition video streaming or transferring large data files are often better experienced with higher data speeds.
Latency, also known as delay, is the amount of time from when a data packet is sent to when it is received. For Broadband Internet Access Services, latency is usually expressed as the round-trip time in milliseconds (“ms”) that it takes for a data packet to travel between two end points on the Internet (from point A to point B and then back to point A). Some applications, such as email, can tolerate a substantial amount of latency without any noticeable impact on the application's performance, while other applications, such as real-time video conferencing, require lower latency to function properly.
Based on analysis of third-party, crowd sourced data and subject to the notes below, MetroPCS expects customers with broadband-capable devices and qualifying service will experience the following speeds and latency on our network.** These ranges are projections based on roughly the 25th and 75th percentiles of network tests. For speeds, the peak represents the 99th percentile of network speed results:
4G LTE Network (On Device):
Download speeds: Typically between 4-30 Mbps, with peaks up to 90 Mbps and minimum expected speeds of less than .1Mbps
Upload speeds: Typically between 3-15 Mbps, with peaks up to 35 Mbps and minimum expected speeds of less than .1Mbps.
Latency: Typically between 30-55 ms
4G LTE Network (Via Smartphone Mobile Hotspot/Tethering):
Download speeds: Typically between 3-25 Mbps, with peaks up to 90 Mbps and minimum expected speeds of less than .1Mbps.
Upload speeds: Typically between 2-10 Mbps, with peaks up to 35 Mbps and minimum expected speeds of less than .1Mbps.
Latency: Typically between 30-55 ms
MetroPCS constantly works to improve network performance on its 4G LTE network as well as to pursue advanced and next-generation technologies and services. The above ranges are representative of current service plans. You may occasionally experience speeds beyond the ranges included in your plan.
Based on our internal testing and testing from third-parties, we’ve also made projections regarding the anticipated experience on our remaining non-LTE network. Subject to the notes below, MetroPCS expects customers with broadband-capable devices and qualifying service will experience the following speeds and latency on those portions of our network:
**Your speed range will also depend on the high-speed data allotments associated with the data plan you have selected. SeePlans for more details.
Note: Your 4G speed range will depend on your device as well as the factors described above. You can learn more about the capabilities of our 4G devices here. Subject to your data plan, customers using a 4G device within the 4G coverage area can expect to get 4G speeds. Customers using a 3G device within the 3G coverage area can expect to get 3G speeds. Customers with 4G devices will access the 3G network where it’s available outside the 4G coverage area.
How does MetroPCS manage the flow of data on its network?
We engineer our network to provide consistent high-speed data service, but at times and at locations where the number of customers using the network exceeds available network resources, customers will experience reduced data speeds. To provide the best possible experience for the most possible customers, we implement network management practices on a content-agnostic basis, such as caching less data and prioritizing data usage.
These practices do not discriminate against offers that might compete against those offered by MetroPCS or its affiliates on the basis of such competition.
Data Maximizer and Video Optimization
MetroPCS utilizes streaming video optimization technology throughout its network Streaming video optimization improves overall data management of the network, resulting in greater network speeds and throughput for other customers using data because less network payload is dedicated to video. For customers with limited high-speed data plans, optimization also helps customers stretch their high-speed data while streaming video. We optimize data by adjusting the delivery rate for streaming video to up to 1.5Mbps, which causes the video to lower resolutions and use less data.
Video optimization occurs only to data streams that are identified by our packet-core network as video. Some videos, like those consumed via VPN, may not be optimized. Some video consumed while tethering may be difficult to identify as video and therefore cannot be optimized. The streaming video optimization process is agnostic as to streaming video content itself and to the website or application that provides it. While many changes to streaming video files are likely to be indiscernible, the optimization process may impact the appearance of the streaming video as displayed on a user’s devices. It may also affect the speed of video downloads.
Specifically, all current MetroPCS plans include the Data Maximizer feature. Data Maximizer uses video streaming optimization when connected to the cellular network to deliver a DVD quality (typically 480p or better) video experience instead of a higher resolution version (e.g., HD), which is better suited for larger screens. Customers may, for an additional charge, add on a native resolution video feature, disabling optimization on their device. Data Maximizer does not apply to services of providers who have chosen to opt out (none have opted out of Data Maximizer at this time). Video from these providers will be delivered at native resolution, and high speed data consumption will continue as if Data Maximizer were not enabled. The Data Maximizer setting is not applied when a device is on WiFi and therefore all video on WiFi will be delivered at the native resolution.
Network Management for Extremely High Data Usage and Tethering
Most of our plan options feature a customer-chosen high-speed data allotment with reduced speeds on our network after the high-speed allotment is exhausted, so customers can choose the combination of high-speed data and price that is right for their needs. Unlimited high-speed data customers do not have a specific high-speed data allotment, however, and customers on limited high-speed plans may have extremely high data usage under certain circumstances, including if they access significant amounts of data that does not count against their high speed data allotment. Some network management for these scenarios for all plans is required, because very heavy data usage by even a few customers at times and places of competing network demands can affect the network performance for all customers.
To provide the best possible experience for the most possible customers, and to minimize capacity issues and degradation in network performance, we manage significant high-speed data usage through prioritization. Specifically, the fraction of MetroPCS customers who use more than 35GB of data in a month will have their data usage prioritized below the data usage (including tethering) of other customers at times and at locations where there are competing customer demands for network resources, which may result in slower data speeds. Smartphone Mobile Hotspot (tethering) data is included in this calculation. Customers who use data in violation of their Rate Plan terms or MetroPCS’ Terms and Conditions may be excluded from this calculation. Data features that may not count against the high speed data allotment for some plans, such as data associated with Music Unlimited, counts towards customers’ usage for this calculation. Smartphone Mobile Hotspot (tethering) data is also included in this calculation. At the start of the next cycle, the customer's usage status is reset, and this data traffic is no longer prioritizes below other traffic.
Similarly, while we permit tethering pursuant to terms, conditions, and allotments of your Data Plan, significant Smartphone Mobile Hotspot (tethering) usage can affect on-device network performance for all customers. To ensure the best possible on-device experience for the most possible customers, and to minimize capacity issues and degradation in network performance, for all plans we prioritize all on-device data over tethering data at times and locations where there are competing customer demands for network resources, which may result in slower tethering speeds.
Where the network is lightly loaded in relation to available capacity, a customer whose data is prioritized lower than other traffic will notice little, if any, effect from having lower priority. This will be the case in the vast majority of times and locations. Customers whose data is prioritized lower may notice reduced speeds during network congestion. Specifically, at times and at locations where the network is heavily loaded in relation to available capacity, these customers will likely see significant reductions in data speeds, especially if they are engaged in data-intensive activities. Customers on Rate Plans and Devices with 4G capability should, for example, be aware that these practices may occasionally result in speeds below those typically experienced on our 4G LTE and HSPA networks. MetroPCS constantly works to improve network performance and capacity, but there are physical and technical limits on how much capacity is available, and in constrained locations the frequency of heavy loading in relation to available capacity may be greater than in other locations. When network loading goes down or the customer moves to a location that is less heavily loaded in relation to available capacity, the customer’s speeds will likely improve.
If you would like to check your data plan usage, you can view the Data Usage Meter from MyAccount on metropcs.com.
Choice of High-Speed Data
MetroPCS customers select how much high-speed data they receive under their service plan. Certain features, such as Music Unlimited, do not count against your high-speed data allotment. If your total data usage exceeds your selected high-speed allotment during a service cycle, we may reduce your data speed for the remainder of that service cycle.
Some MetroPCS Unlimited high-speed Smartphone data plans include a data allotment for Smartphone Mobile Hotspot (tethering) then tethering is slowed for the rest of the service cycle; unlimited high-speed data is only for use on your smartphone. Depending on the capability of your device, tethering your device to other lawful devices is permitted up to 10 devices pursuant to the terms, conditions and allotments of your Data Plan. Some video consumed while tethering may be difficult to identify as video and therefore cannot be optimized.
MetroPCS Fair Usage Commitment
The MetroPCS Fair Usage commitment is how we ensure that the highest number of customers have the best possible experience for the most common uses on our network. To ensure that smartphones and tablets have fair access to the network, we monitor mobile hotspot/tethering usage on a regular basis to ensure that mobile hotspot usage is both reasonable and fair.
Other Network Management
If you use your Data Plan in a manner that could interfere with other customers' service, affect our ability to allocate network capacity among customers, or degrade service quality for other customers, we may suspend, terminate, or restrict your data session, or switch you to a more appropriate Data Plan, or terminate your service.
Finally, certain uses of our network are also prohibited as described in our Terms and Conditions under the heading “Misuse of Service or Device.” For example, applications which automatically consume unreasonable amounts of available network capacity or are designed for unattended use are prohibited as they may interfere with our ability to provide a good service experience for the majority of our customers, cause capacity issues, and/or degrade network performance. See our Terms and Conditions for a list of prohibited uses.
How does MetroPCS address network priority for its brands?
To differentiate services we sell under the MetroPCS brand name from services we sell under other brand names, we give data of customers who choose T-Mobile-branded services precedence over data of customers who choose non-T-Mobile-branded services (including MetroPCS) when our network is presented with competing demands. Where the network is lightly loaded, a customer on those brands will notice little, if any, effect from having lower priority. This will be the case in the vast majority of times and locations. At times and at locations where the network is heavily loaded in relation to available capacity, however, those customers will likely see reductions in data speeds, especially if they are engaged in data-intensive activities. MetroPCS constantly works to improve network performance and capacity, but there are physical and technical limits on how much capacity is available, and at constrained locations, the frequency of heavy loading in relation to available capacity may be greater than at other locations. When network loading goes down or those customers moves to a location that is less heavily loaded in relation to available capacity, those customers’ speeds will likely improve.
Does data traffic from MetroPCS products preloaded on a user’s device or otherwise available from MetroPCS have precedence over data traffic from other applications?
No. They are treated just like any other data application on the network, and traffic from these applications is subject to the same reasonable network management practices as other data on the network.
What security measures does MetroPCS use to protect its Broadband Internet Access Services?
We use a variety of physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards to protect our network from events that may negatively impact our customers’ ability to use our Broadband Internet Access Services. We monitor our network to protect against security threats, including spam, viruses, automated attacks, worms, distributed denial of service attacks, and other potentially malicious activity. When we detect a threat, we will attempt to prevent it from spreading across our network using a variety of security measures, which may include rerouting or limiting some traffic over our network until the threat is resolved.
Unless part of an opted-in customer service, MetroPCS does not block lawful traffic based on content or subject. Occasionally, cases arise where MetroPCS must make a judgment, determining that the value of protecting our customer base from malicious or other adverse, network-impacting traffic outweighs access issues experienced by a few. Examples include Internet sources or destinations that are major sources of spam and sources that aggressively scan Internet addresses or those that have attempted attacks against MetroPCS infrastructure or customer end-points.
MetroPCS blocks a limited number of Internet addresses that are disruptive or malicious and typically persistent, based on our review of third party industry-wide intelligence. MetroPCS does not block sites based on content or subject, unless the Internet address hosts unlawful content or is blocked as part of an opted-in customer service.
For our Wi-Fi services, which are accessible in a wide range of commercial establishments and public venues, MetroPCS prevents the use of certain ports that are commonly used to spread malware and engage in other malicious activity.
Does MetroPCS allow customers to use non-MetroPCS devices and applications for its Broadband Internet Access Services?
MetroPCS customers may use any GSM, UMTS, or LTE device, such as a tablet or smartphone, to access our Broadband Internet Access Services, as long as they do not cause harm to our network. §/More information on GSM devices is available from the GSM Association at http://www.gsm.org/technology/index.htm. If you did not purchase your device from MetroPCS, please be aware that MetroPCS has not made any determination as to the call quality, performance, or other functionality provided by the device.
Our customers may use our Broadband Internet Access Services to access any lawful application, including real-time applications, in a manner consistent with our Terms and Conditions, MetroPCS reserves the right to take whatever measures are necessary to protect our network from potentially harmful devices and applications. The performance of a real-time application on our network depends on the speed and latency of the subscriber’s connection, as well as their chosen data plan (see above for details).
§/ In most markets the T-Mobile 3G / 4G network operates in the Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) 1700/2100 MHz band and/or the Personal Communications Services (PCS) 1900 MHz band using Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) technology. T-Mobile also operates in the 700 MHz band (referred to as Extended Range LTE) in some markets. In order to connect to the T-Mobile 3G / 4G network a device must support UMTS and HSPA technology in the AWS 1700/2100 MHz band and PCS (1900) band. The T-Mobile 2G network operates in the Personal Communications Services (PCS) (1900) band. To connect to this network a device must support GSM technology in the PCS 1900 band.
How does MetroPCS protect the privacy of customers using its mobile Broadband Internet Access Services?
How can customers who have concerns or questions about their Broadband Internet Access Services contact MetroPCS?
Customers with questions or concerns about MetroPCS Broadband Internet Access Services, including questions or concerns about the network practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms applicable to MetroPCS’s Broadband Internet Access Services should contact our Customer Care department at www.metropcs.com, by calling 1-888-8METRO8 or 611 from your device, or by writing to MetroPCS Wireless, Inc., PO Box 601119, Dallas, TX 75360. For information on resolving disputes with MetroPCS, please review our Terms and Conditions under the heading “Dispute Resolution and Arbitration.” Complaints or questions by end-users or edge providers regarding the approval of devices should be mailed to the relevant address above.