MetroPCS debuts voice over LTE in one market, South Korea to debut service Wednesday

MetroPCS debuts voice over LTE in one market, South Korea to debut service Wednesday
Back in February 2011, there was a rumor that pre-paid carrier MetroPCS was about to offer voice over LTE. This is a service that uses extra bandwidth on LTE signals for phone calls. Sorry to say that the HTC device mentioned never panned out. But now, some 18 months later, MetroPCS has launched the first voice over LTE service. With an exceptionally tiny footprint, the service works in and around the Dallas area on just one handset, the LG Connect 4G. MetroPCS says more locations will be offering the service which will be available on more handset models. MetroPCS says users of voice over LTE will notice clearer calls. Metro beat out Verizon which had been testing the technology in two markets with a plan to roll it out next year.

Ironically, South Korea is expected to throw the switch on its voice over LTE technology on Wednesday using a specially embedded version of the Samsung Galaxy S III which will be available in the country on August 8th. Voice over LTE can handle LTE bandwidth that is 2.2 times that of 3G. The caller on the other end of the line sounds like he is sitting right next to you while connection times go from the 5 seconds over 3G to .25 to 2,5 seconds. The service, also known as HD Voice, will begin Wednesday from SK Telecom with voice quality 40% times better than on a 3G call.Starting tomorrow, the carrier will offer special versions of the Samsung Galaxy S III, embedded with the technology necessary for voice over LTE. Firmware updates for existing units will take place this quarter, allowing those customers to also use voice over LTE. SKTelecom's LTE network reaches 99% of South Korea's population.

source: MetroPCS, KoreaTimes, TheVerge, via Phandroid




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