US carriers were quick to acknowledge their allegiance to Voice over LTE (VoLTE
), a 4G VoIP-related technology first demonstrated
in February. Ever since that time, however, talk of deployment plans have been replaced by crickets. MetroPCS was the first to break the silence, as CEO Roger Linquist announced at this morning's quarterly earnings call that his company's "planning to begin introducing VoLTE-capable handsets
early next year to move voice as well as data traffic to [its] LTE network." The outfit's wasting no time making the full transition to 4G, as it's already begun migrating its SMS and MMS services to this service. An increasing sense of urgency is likely hitting the company hard, as implementing VoLTE will ease some of the burden of its limited spectrum by devoting more bandwidth to 4G. What's better, the anticipated timeframe may even allow MetroPCS to beat Verizon to market -- which has also targeted 2012
as a launch date for its equivalent service -- as well as AT&T, currently aiming for a 2013 takeoff
. No matter what, we're ecstatic
to soon be flooded with more HD-clarity calls than we care to take.
*Verizon has acquired AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.