MetroPCS may only be America's sixth largest wireless carrier, but it's definitely the country's first to offer Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services. Not usually known for being the first to bring new products to market, MetroPCS announced Tuesday that its first VoLTE-capable handset, the LG Connect 4G, is now available. MetroPCS has deployed its new service in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

The company plans on rolling out more devices and additional coverage in "the coming weeks." Almost in the spirit of Olympic-like competition, the regional carrier won the VoLTE race by mere hours. South Korean wireless carrier SK Telecom prematurely made the claim of being the world's mobile provider to offer VoLTE services, which were set to go live on August 8 using Samsung's Galaxy S III.

Using higher levels of bandwidth, VoLTE improves overall call quality and reduces connection latency.

While this was a neck and neck race between the two carriers, it appears that MetroPCS has come away with the VoLTE gold and SK Telecom will have to settle for silver.


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.

For more information, please visit: Details on rate plans and service features: [press_end]

[via: Engadget, TNW]