While voice over LTE technology is seen as the future of the mobile industry, recent tests have found that the it could reduce a smartphones battery life in half. According to a report from ST-Ericsson, however, next-generation LTE radios with VoLTE capabilities will actually increase battery life and reduce power consumption by 50%. In addition to being more efficient, the technology has special protocols that would improve call quality by reducing signaling overhead and improve performance in weak coverage points. VoLTE could be the beginning of the end for minute-based voice plans since calling and messaging will be sent through a carrier’s data network. MetroPCS (PCS) has already launched VoLTE in select markets and Verizon Wireless (VZ), the nation’s largest carrier, has announced plans to utilize the technology in 2013 with widespread availability slated for early 2014.