Metro announces they sold their first VoLTE phone in the Dallas market tonight (07Aug12), the LG Connect 4G Android™. This is a necessary step for Metro as they will now be able to offer simultaneous voice and data for the first time now (SVLTE) and helps address the lack of spectrum they face in a few markets. I imagine they will w
ant/need to go down from AMR 14.4 voice coding in the future (default for VoLTE) due to the lack of efficiency compared to the EVRC-B that they are using today but they can surely start there. Also note, with the IMS client on the LG Connect, this device can also technically (InterRAT) handover to a WiFi channel (assuming they have deployed edge security and ePDG in the network), so they can technically have offload very rapidly, no small cells to deploy. This could be very interesting.
BTW, SK Telecom and LG Uplus announced their launches today too, so there was apparently a race on to be the first in the world, although the Korean launches seem to feature HD voice with a wideband Vocoder.
Gold/silver/bronze finish for US and S.Korea…
The full Press Release is at the bottom…
Now full disclosure here: I have been involved with MetroPCS’s (again should we go to MetroLTE?) LTE involvement from the time it was a what if scenario. OK, fast forward…so I’m reading Bloomberg, Reuters etc… and they are going on about the good results from MetroPCS. Let’s review. Reuters specifically says:
At the end of the second quarter, the company said, about 8 percent of its subscribers were using its so-called fourth generation high-speed service, which is based on a technology known as Long Term Evolution.
The company’s service revenue rose 4 percent to $1.16 billion for the quarter. Quarterly average revenue per user was $40.62, up 13 cents from a year earlier.
MetroPCS posted a net subscriber loss of 186,000 in the second quarter. Analysts had been expecting its subscriber numbers to fall by 94,000 to 174,000, according to four analysts contacted by Reuters.
The company said it expects to boost subscriber growth with 4G LTE For All, a line of affordable 4G LTE smartphones it plans to launch in the second half of 2012.
“During the fourth quarter, we expect our 4G LTE For All initiative to lead to a return to subscriber growth,” Chief Executive Roger Linquist said in a statement.
Churn — or customer defection rate — fell by half a percentage point to 3.4 percent for the quarter.
- Metro is shedding their prepaid voice subscribers but gaining sticky LTE subscribers.
- Metro expects to grow subscribers- LTE subscribers
- OPEX doesn’t seem to be out of control with prepaid all you can eat LTE data users.
- They are planning to refarm their CDMA spectrum using VoLTE and presumably an all LTE device line up.
- Churn is down so customers seem to be happy
MetroPCS Launches World’s First Commercially Available Voice Over LTE Service and VoLTE-Capable 4G LTE Smartphone (via PR Newswire)
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…