Roger Linquist, CEO of Texas-based MetroPCS, has revealed to Fierce Wireless that the cellco expects to launch Voice-over-Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) in all 14 of its markets within four to six months. Speaking on the sidelines of the Goldman Sachs’ Communacopia Conference, Linquist admitted: ‘There are a number of changes that need to be made in base station optimisation in Dallas. This is not your grandfather’s Buick. This is a different animal’. Nevertheless, Linquist is confident that the operator can overcome what have been termed ‘technical challenges’ before too long. Linquist and chief financial officer Braxton Carter noted that the carrier now has close to one million LTE subscribers, up from the 700,000 it reported in late July. Carter said that the churn rate among the carrier’s LTE customers was around one percentage point below the company’s overall churn rate, which was 3.4% in 2Q12. Regarding the acquisition of additional spectrum, Carter noted that the cellco will continue to be ‘disciplined’ and ‘opportunistic’, despite noting that spectrum farming within the US wireless sector ‘has changed dramatically our urgency and expectation of getting additional spectrum’.
Last month MetroPCS introduced one of the world’s first commercial VoLTE services in the Dallas-Forth Worth area, via the LG Connect 4G Android smartphone. At the time Linquist 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’. Later that day South Korea’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers, SK Telecom (SKT), announced the commercial launch of its own VoLTE service.