Many carriers in the U.S. are testing the new Voice Over LTE technology before a future. While MetroPCS has already launched the service becoming the first service provider in the world to do so, others, including Verizon, are currently conducting tests and plan to do the same in coming years. Verizon is said to begin consumer trials in late 2013 and launch it commercially in 2014.
U.S. Cellular has also started testing VoLTE technology on its network and plans to launch it in the future. The carrier’s VoLTE plans were disclosed in a filling with the FCC:
“U.S. Cellular is currently testing VoLTE and expects to move forward with VoLTE deployments at some point in the future.”
The carrier’s spokesman Steve Carlson revealed that his company has begun the trials with multiple vendors in the fourth quarter and will continue until next year, without revealing any further details about a launch date. Comparatively, MetroPCS has already deployed VoLTE in the Dallas Forth-Worth market and it;s working to add VoLTE to 14 more markets in next 4-6 months.
Although carriers and users are excited about the new technology, a recent study by Metrico Wireless has revealed that VoLTE significantly reduces smartphone battery life. In the study, Metrico Wireless compared the battery life of devices making calls on CDMA network with those making calls over LTE networks. The tests revealed that VoLTE calls reduced battery life by 50% compared to phones making calls through the CDMA network.
USCC’s 4g network is spotty — at best. I have not been able to use 4g in a supposedly solid 4g area. 4g coverage and speed is MUCH slower than 3g. It’s just not ready for prime time at this point.