The world’s first “commercially available” Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) network launched today, but it wasn’t from a carrier that you would have expected to be first. MetroPCS takes the cake this time around, something they should actually be proud of.
VoLTE is a data service that will transform the industry once it is widely adopted. Current carrier networks that have 4G LTE capabilities still rely on CDMA or GSM to handle their voice calls and texting, but with VoLTE, data takes care of it all. Call quality and stability should be greatly improved once you have the entire process handled by data. We would assume that battery life on devices will also become much more efficient with there being no need to power a second 3G or 2G radio, however, devices of that nature may still be a ways out.
Along with this announcement of the first VoLTE network, MetroPCS is also announcing the first phone to take advantage of it, the LG Connect 4G.
Fun news, right?
Once Verizon covers the country in 4G LTE over the next year, you can imagine that they will start to ready VoLTE service of their own. They have reportedly begun testing in a couple of markets and have said that they could start rolling it out in 2013 to the public. By the end of 2013, they may even offer VoLTE-only devices.
MetroPCS Launches World’s First Commercially Available Voice Over LTE Service and VoLTE-Capable 4G LTE Smartphone
DALLAS, Aug. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — MetroPCS Communications, Inc. (NYSE: PCS) today reached another innovation milestone by announcing the world’s first commercial launch of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services, availability of the world’s first VoLTE-capable handsets and the first sale of a VoLTE-capable handset at one of the company’s Dallas/Fort Worth store locations. MetroPCS is selling the new VoLTE-capable LG Connect 4G Android™ smartphone at select U.S. stores and will continue to roll out VoLTE services and phones in the coming weeks.
“Being the first operator globally to reach this industry first speaks volumes about our company’s innovative spirit and passion to achieve goals that we believe will have long-term benefit for our customers and for the company,” said Roger Linquist, chairman and chief executive officer of MetroPCS. “The initial move to LTE and this move to VoLTE allow us to achieve significant spectral efficiencies and will increase network capacity so that we can enhance the 4G LTE experience that our customers have today at a tremendous value. VoLTE also provides a foundational capability for future Rich Communication Services (RCS), which we plan to launch later this year.”
The addition of VoLTE capabilities to MetroPCS’ 4G LTE handsets will be transparent to consumers as they continue to enjoy all the voice and 4G LTE data services with which they are already familiar. Calls to and from the handset will use VoLTE, regardless of the handset or network used on the other end of the call.
MetroPCS was the first U.S. carrier to deploy a commercial 4G LTE network in September 2010 and has since built out its 4G LTE network to cover roughly 90 percent of its CDMA footprint.
About MetroPCS Communications, Inc.
Dallas-based MetroPCS Communications, Inc. (NYSE: PCS) is a provider of no annual contract, unlimited wireless communications service for a flat rate. MetroPCS is the fifth largest facilities-based wireless carrier in the United States based on number of subscribers served. With Metro USA(SM), MetroPCS customers can use their service in areas throughout the United States covering a population of over 280 million people. As of June 30, 2012, MetroPCS had approximately 9.3 million subscribers. For more information please visit www.metropcs.com.