We knew it was coming but weren't sure exactly when.
It's called VoLTE which stands for Voice-Over-LTE (Long Term Evolution) and it's the new way cellular networks will deal with voice calls in the future.
MetroPCS has announced that their new LG Connect 4G phone is the first to be able to take advantage of VoLTE.
Instead of the current practice of using separate frequencies for voice and data connections, VoLTE allows voice calls to be made over carriers' new 4G networks. It's somewhat similar in concept to VoIP (Voice-over-Internet-Protocol) which is used by companies like Skype, Vonage and MagicJack to route voice calls over the Internet.
For customers it's supposed to improve the quality of voice conversations. For carriers VoLTE utilizes bandwidth more efficiently and should free-up big portions of frequencies for other uses.
The $249 phone has a 4-inch touchscreen, dual-core processor, 5 megapixel rear camera and runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).
For now, VoLTE and the LG handset will be available in select markets (as yet unnamed). MetroPCS plans to expand the service throughout its nationwide network.