If Apple decides to release a 4G LTE iPhone 5 sometime this year, MetroPCS might be waiting in the wings to offer it unlocked on its 4G LTE network.
According to Wireless Week, MetroPCS CFO Braxton Carter stated that while the carrier does not offer the iPhone or really want unlocked iPhone users using the device on its 3G CDMA network, it would be open to the idea of an unlocked iPhone 5 operating on its 4G LTE network.
He made his comments at the annual J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, the same event where Verizon CFO Fran Shammo indicated that his company would be putting an end to grandfathered 3G data plans this summer.
Operating in the same way that T-Mobile does with the current lineup of iPhones, MetroPCS would not sell the iPhone 5 directly but would instead openly allow and possibly encourage iPhone users to use the phone on its spectrum.
T-Mobile is currently the home to over a million iPhone users who have unlocked their device to use on the carrier’s network.T-Mobile has yet to sell any incarnation of the iPhone and without a 4G LTE network in place and a 4G LTE iPhone looking likely for 2012, it’s unclear if the carrier will officially get the iPhone 5.
After releasing a 4G LTE powered iPad earlier this year, Apple is rumored to be coming out with a 4G LTE iPhone model this year. 4G LTE speeds would allow iPhone users to obtain data speeds up to 10 times faster than standard 3G networks.
Right now, the 4G LTE landscape is dominated by Android and Windows Phone.
In addition, Apple is rumored to be beefing up the size of the iPhone’s screen to 4-inches with several reports indicating that the iPhone 5 will indeed have a bigger screen than its predecessors.