MetroPCS Launches First 4G LTE Network in the U.S.

We kind of feel like the headline says it all, but in case you thought it was a typo, we'll repeat: MetroPCS just launched the first ever 4G LTE network in the United States. MetroPCS chose Las Vegas as their launching off point, somewhat following in the footsteps of Sprint-Nextel and Clearwire, which also was drawn to Las Vegas early on with their fancy WiMax service.

Squeezing into the press release is Samsung, which launched the world's first 4G LTE-enabled, multi-mode, CDMA handset, the Samsung Craft (SCH-r900). In addition, Samsung Mobile supplied the LTE infrastructure for MetroPCS' commercial launch of 4G in Last Vegas.

"It is extremely gratifying to introduce the Samsung Craft as the world's first commercially available LTE-enabled handset operating on infrastructure by Samsung as part of the first LTE commercial network and services to be offered in the U.S.," said Omar Khan, chief strategy officer for Samsung Mobile. "The Craft combines 4G speed and a multimedia device packed with full Web, entertainment, and productivity features."

The phone itself boasts a 3.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen display, 3.2MP camera with autofocus and video capabilities, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a microSD card slot, and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard.

As for MetroPCS, the Dallas-based company plans to expand its LTE service into 18 markets in 2011, including Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Boston, North and South Florida, San Francisco, and several other locales. Interestingly, MetroPCS doesn't offer 3G service, so in the meantime, those who don't live in Las Vegas are stuck on 2G.