In a successful debut on the New York Stock Exchange, wireless service provider MetroPCS became the first U.S. telecom firm in more than two years to raise $1 billion in an initial public stock offering (IPO), as demand for the company’s stock triggered an opening day price surge of 19%. Established in 1994, MetroPCS built its network on spectrum acquired in various FCC auctions. Since emerging from Chapter 11 protection in 1998, MetroPCS has launched wireless service in Miami, Atlanta, San Francisco, Dallas, and Detroit and in several other major markets and has expanded its customer base to 3.4 million. (Plans are also underway to roll out service in additional markets that include Los Angeles, New York, Boston and Philadelphia.) Unlike major national carriers such as AT&T (formerly Cingular Wireless) and Verizon Wireless, MetroPCS offers its customers a flat-fee plan that requires no contract and through which subscribers pay up front for unlimited calls. MetroPCS has also been successful, boasting a profit last year of $53.8 million on revenues of $1.55 billion. That profitability has made the company an attractive target for individual retail and institutional investors, who grabbed up shares at such a brisk pace that the initial offer price of $23 rose to $27.40 by the end of the day. Observing that the MetroPCS sale ranks as Wall Street’s first $1 billion IPO this year and the first telecom IPO since the November 2004 China Netcom listing to reach that mark, experts believe the MetroPCS IPO could herald the resurgence of technology and telecom stocks during 2007