While MetroPCS is the only carrier in the U.S. that's currently offering Voice over LTE (VoLTE) to consumers, both AT&T and Verizon have said that they plan to introduce the feature, and now we've got another carrier that has confirmed plans to launch VoLTE. U.S. Cellular has revealed that it's currently testing VoLTE in a filing with the FCC, and a carrier spokesperson has reaffirmed the news to FierceWireless, adding that the trials began "with multiple vendors" in the fourth quarter and will stretch into 2013. There's no word on exactly when U.S. Cellular will actually launch VoLTE, with the carrier only saying that it plans to do so "at some point in the future.
Obviously there's quite a bit about U.S. Cellular's VoLTE plans that's still up in the air, but it's good to hear that the carrier has at least begun testing the technology and that it intends to eventually deploy it to users. VoLTE will offer things like improved voice quality to folks that actually use their phone as a phone, and while a recent test showed that VoLTE use can deplete a battery fairly quickly, that'll likely improve in the future as newer hardware is released and the tech becomes more power efficient. We'll give you a shout once we hear more about U.S. Cellular's VoLTE plans.