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MetroPCS resuscitating $40 plan for 4G LTE smartphones

The no-contract carrier is bringing back a low-cost unlimited plan it quietly killed off last year.

LG Esteem
The LG Esteem is one phone you'll be able to get for a $40 all-you-can-eat plan. Josh MIller/CNET

MetroPCS is calling its $40 unlimited plan back into service for 4G LTE smartphones, after pulling the plan when it ceased selling its debut 4G phone, the Samsung Craft, last year.

As with all of the carrier's unlimited plans, the $40 4G LTE plan includes unlimited talk, text, and Web browsing. It also allows for 100MB of multimedia streaming using Metro's LTE network.

Until yesterday when the plan officially went into effect, customers buying LTE smartphones were limited to the $50 unlimited plan, which includes a 1GB allowance for streaming content from services like Pandora and YouTube.

The phones covered by the plan include the LG Esteem, the Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G, and the Samsung Galaxy Indulge. It also will extend to the LG Connect 4G when that handset becomes available.

Bringing back a more budget-conscious plans is a bit of an unusual move for a carrier, especially when most carriers' overall goal includes luring customers away from cheaper packages toward data plans with higher thresholds.

According to MetroPCS, excluding LTE phones from the $40 unlimited plan wasn't meant to be permanent. "It was a decision that's been in the works for awhile," a MetroPCS spokesman told CNET, "To make 4G LTE more a greater audience."

MetroPCS isn't known from breaking any records when it comes to LTE speeds. Instead, the carrier's mantra is to provide an all-around high-value package without locking customers into a contract.