Many people credit T-Mobile with bringing fresh life to the cellular service industry as the “Uncarrier.” They eliminated two-year contracts while resurrecting unlimited data plans. They’ve also made considerable strides to improve their coverage map and performance and launched the first national 5G network.
So it’s no surprise that each quarter, T-Mobile sees its subscriber count grow. But another company, Metro, offers many of the same features at lower prices, and it runs on T-Mobile’s nationwide network. The company is Metro (formerly MetroPCS). T-Mobile owns Metro and operates it as a prepaid service provider. Subscribers can find a range of plans to match all budgets and needs.
Read on to learn more about T-Mobile and Metro to decide which is the best fit for you.
Note: MetroPCS has recently been renamed Metro by T-Mobile. We’ll use both names interchangeably throughout this article.
Quick Comparison: MetroPCS v. T-Mobile
Although T-Mobile owns Metro, it’s important to remember that they are not the same. Here’s a quick overview of the advantages of each provider:
- A large variety of plans across different prices
- Most plans cost less than T-Mobile plans
- Includes data-saving features to prevent overages and stay inside allotments
- Offers more budget phones
- Offers month installment plans for devices
- Excellent customer service record
- Better additional options like international talk, text, and data add-ons
- T-Mobile customers receive priority on the network over Metro
- Extra perks for T-Mobile customers specifically
MetroPCS vs. T Mobile: Coverage
T-Mobile’s made great strides over the last few years to improve its coverage and performance. In recent industry studies, T-Mobile generally ranks second or third in areas like 4G LTE availability and data speed. Network availability and performance are all near the top of all providers. In some areas, T-Mobile even has better speeds and reliability than Verizon and AT&T.
Metro uses T-Mobile’s network, so performance and coverage are similar in most places. Put simply, customers of either provider should have any issues. 4G LTE speeds are available across the country, including in many rural areas. In testing, Metro has been determined to provide similar speeds and coverage as T-Mobile.
One area T-Mobile outshines Metro is network usage. Although they use the same network, T-Mobile prioritizes its own customers over Metro.So Metro customers may experience slower speeds, particularly during periods of network congestion.
Likewise, deprioritization hits Metro without warning. You might be in the middle of watching your favorite movie and suffer bandwidth problems. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen very often.
In fact, average users would notice much of a difference during deprioritization. However, power users who have significant data needs may see issues.
For the highest data speeds without compromise, T-Mobile wins the performance battle—but not by much.
Looking at any provider’s phone plans can be enough to make your head spin. Metro offers prepaid plans. T-Mobile offers both prepaid and postpaid plans.
T-Mobile’s three basic postpaid plans are Essentials, Magenta, and Magenta Plus, ranging from $60-80 for individual lines (along with discounts for family lines) that includes unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data among other features.
Along with these, there is the Unlimited 55+ from T-Mobile, which gives seniors two unlimited lines for $55 per month, if you’re over 55 years of age.
To make things a little more confusing, T-Mobile also offers two prepaid plans under its own name. They range from $40 per month for 10 GB of LTE data to unlimited 4G LTE data for $50 per month.
Finally, T-Mobile has a pay-as-you-go plan that starts from $3 month for talk and text with the option of adding data to your plan.
Metro PCS: Plans
All-Metro plans are prepaid and range from $30 to $60 per line with discounts for multiple numbers.
At $30 per month, subscribers receive unlimited talk and text with 2GB of 4G LTE Data. $40 bumps this up to 10 GB of LTE data. Finally, the $50 and $60 plans included unlimited everything with the $60 plan offering personal hotspot capabilities.
Metro has also included additional perks like Google One Storage and Amazon Prime for the unlimited plans.
For individuals, Metro is the best option from a price standpoint. Many people don’t need unlimited data so they can take advantage of more affordable plans. Even looking at side-by-side full unlimited plans, individuals can save $20 per month with few disadvantages by adopting for Metro instead, making it a better choice for budget-conscious consumers.
Family plans are quite similar. Unlimited data on four lines costs $140 on MetroPCS vs. $160 on T-Mobile. Once again, the performance and data differences are negligible, while Metro offers better savings.
Metro PCS vs. TMobile: Customer Service
Although T-Mobile owns Metro, each company handles customer service separately. You can’t contact one for help with the other. With T-Mobile, you get broader solutions and options across the board. You can find help on the phone, online, in-store, on social media, or in their user forum.
And it’s never too difficult to reach a human being for help. T-Mobile easily wins in the service department. Overall, T-Mobile is a consistent winner in customer service not just against Metro, but among all cellular providers.
With that said, Metro’s customer service isn’t bad, it’s just not as good as T-Mobile. Metro doesn’t have an online chat option, and social media responses can still be pretty slow. Likewise, phone wait times can be lengthy.
Ask yourself how often you need customer service. Most prepaid customers are pretty low maintenance, and you can do a lot on their website before ever needing the assistance of an agent.
Customer Service Numbers:
- T-Mobile: 1 (800) 937-8997
- Metro: 1 (888) 863-8768
What Phones Are Available?
All carriers offer a bring your own phone policy. T-Mobile also offers the latest smartphones and great deals on them. They have a huge selection of top phones, including those from Apple, Samsung, and Google.
You can finance phones from T-Mobile over monthly installments or pay upfront. Depending on the time of year, you can find additional discounts, promotions, and budget options.
Metro’s selection is less diverse. Instead, they specialize in budget devices. You’ll be able to find a handful of flagship phones, but most of their inventory consists of decent smartphones that cost less than $200.
You can definitely find something to fit your needs. Unfortunately, monthly installments aren’t available but you won’t find cheaper devices through any other carriers.
What About the Perks?
It might surprise, but both T-Mobile and Metro offer subscriber perks. There’s a slight difference in approach, however. T-Mobile customers may pay a premium to access perks that improve customer experience. On the other hand, Metro customers are usually looking for ways to save as much as possible. The perks offered by both companies reflect this.
T-Mobile Tuesdays give Magenta and Magenta plus subscribers select freebies each week like discounted cinema tickets and free food at significant chains.
Families can also receive an account credit for limiting data usage. All T-Mobile plans come with free music streaming and either SD or HD video streaming. Magenta Subscribers also receive Netflix and in-flight WiFi.
MetroPCS perks focus on saving data. Using the data maximizer streams video at lower resolutions to ensure you stay within your plan. There’s also free music streaming on select apps for additional benefits. Metro does have affordable international plans, but T-Mobile has better overall coverage abroad.
The top Metro plans also include Amazon Prime and Google One, which is a $15 monthly value. This is an excellent option for customers looking to maximize their Metro plan.
Final Thoughts: MetroPCS vs. T Mobile
Both T-Mobile and Metro are great options. Both also offer incredible savings compared to providers like Verizon and AT&T.
Overall, T-Mobile is a better choice for consumers looking for a top-tier experience. You can get unlimited data, text, and calling for between $60-80 per month. You can also take advantage of great other perks and discounts. And if you’re looking for the newest smartphone with the fastest unlimited plan, T-Mobile is the best choice not just between itself and Metro, but all carriers.
On the other hand, Metro is a great option for saving cash each month and minimizing your monthly commitment. You can pay month-by-month, choose a limited or unlimited plan, and have great discounts compared to what T-Mobile offers. You can even buy a budget smartphone through them and get a reliable phone that won’t break the bank.
Choosing between these two carriers can be tricky, and many customers may find themselves in a gray area. With Metro, you will save money, but may suffer deprioritization, miss extra perks, and have a reduced customer service experience. Nonetheless, Metro is the best budget carrier in every measure, so go with them if the cost is your primary focus.
Ultimately, you really can’t go wrong with either MetroPCS or T-Mobile, and both do offer no-contract prepaid plans so you can try them out to see which you like better. That’s the beauty of going with the famous “Uncarrier” one way or another!