Dallas-based mobile operator MetroPCS Communications has announced that it has reached what it terms an ‘innovation milestone’ by introducing one of the world’s first commercial voice-over-Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) services, via the LG Connect 4G Android smartphone. Roger Linquist, chairman and CEO of MetroPCS, commented: ‘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’. Although Linquist claims a world first with the introduction of VoLTE, South Korea’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers, SK Telecom (SKT), has announced the commercial launch of its VoLTE service simultaneously.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MetroPCS was the first US carrier to deploy a commercial LTE network, in September 2010, and has since extended its 4G network to cover approximately 90% of its CDMA footprint.