MetroPCS says it launched the first commercial launch of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) on August 7, along with availability of the “world’s VoLTE-capable handsets” and the first sale of a VoLTE-capable handset out of one of its Dallas/Fort Worth store locations. But who knew? The South Koreans have been talking up VoLTE for weeks while MetroPCS can’t find the email address for HD Voice News.
The LG Connect 4G Android smartphone is billed as the “world’s first VoLTE-capable handsets” – a very dubious claim since there are plenty of LTE phones kicking around that either just need a firmware upgrade or already have the capability pre-loaded, but not turned on. It would seem to depend on how you define “first” and “capable” and likely is as much driven by competition between LG and Samsung to claim the title of “first” within South Korea.
MetroPCS says it has built out its 4G LTE network to cover about 90 percent of its existing CDMA footprint and plans to rollout future Rich Communication Services (RCS) later this year. The carrier is rapidly rolling out VoLTE so it can “refarm” and get more mileage out of its existing spectrum.