Discount carrier MetroPCS will be the first U.S. carrier to offer voice over LTE (voLTE) to its customers. MetroPCS is the sixth largest carrier in the US, with 9.5 million subscribers as of January 2012. MetroPCS’s first voLTE smartphone will be the LG Connect 4G Android smartphone.
MetroPCS became the first carrier to deploy a commercial LTE network in September 2010. According to their press release, approximately 90% of the MetroPCS footprint is LTE, with the rest being in the original MetroPCS CMDA network. The announcement is good news for MetroPCS subscribers.
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. 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.
– Roger Linquist, chairman and chief executive officer of MetroPCS
The LG Connect 4G will be the MetroPCS pioneer phone for voLTE. The Connect 4G is a smartphone running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). Other specs for the LG Connect 4G smartphone include the following:
- 1.2GHz dual-core processor
- 1GB of RAM
- 4” NOVA touchscreen
- Front facing and rear cameras
- 5 MP rear camera
- Ability to shoot 720p HD video
- 1500 mAh battery with 250 hours of standby time
- 1.78 GB of internal memory
Metro PCS is also promoting that all calls, both to and from the handset, will use VoLTE, regardless of the handset or network used on the other end of the call. MetroPCS does not require subscribers to sign a contract. Plan costs range from $40 to $70 per smartphone.
It will be interesting to see how long it takes the four major U.S. carriers to follow suit.
Photos courtesy of smartphoneideas.blogspot.com and Prepaidcellphonesguide.com.]]>