VoLTE Coming to Verizon Wireless in Q4 2014, LTE-Only Phones Will Arrive 1H 2016
August 12, 2014 12:11 PM
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VoLTE will enable higher quality, "HD Voice" calls
Voice over LTE
(VoLTE) is making its way to U.S. carriers, and Verizon Wireless has announced plans to launch the service during the fourth quarter of 2014 according to Fran Shammo, Chief Financial Officer for Verizon Communications.
Voice calls will be routed through Verizon’s existing LTE network, with a fallback to 3G in the absence of LTE availability. With its LTE network nearly complete in the U.S., Verizon Wireless is confident that its service to consumers won’t buckle under the pressure of handling both VoLTE calls and LTE data.
"For us, when we launch a new technology, we have to make sure our quality is strong because the CDMA network was so strong," said Shammo at an investor conference this week. "We don't go before we know it's ready."
According to Fierce Wireless, 55 percent of Verizon Wireless’ customers have LTE devices, but those customers account for 79 percent of all data traffic on its network.
The move to VoLTE not only brings with it higher quality “HD Voice” calls, but it will also allow Verizon Wireless to completely abandon its 3G CDMA network in the future. Handsets would likely also be cheaper for manufacturers to produce if they don’t have to worry about supporting legacy CDMA functionality.
However, we still have a ways to go before you have to worry about your smartphone becoming incompatible with Verizon Wireless’ network. The company doesn’t plan to introduce its first LTE-only phones until 1H 2016, and it will be longer still before its 3G CDMA network is shuttered for good.
In the mean time, new smartphones that support VoLTE (while still having 3G CDMA fallback) will be introduced over the coming months, and existing smartphones [with VoLTE hardware support] will receive software updates to enable the feature. But even with network, hardware, and software support, placing or receiving a VoLTE call whenever you want isn’t guaranteed [at least until the wireless carrier goes LTE-only]. Verizon Wireless
wrote earlier this year
For a customer to make or receive a VoLTE call, both parties must have VoLTE-enabled devices and be in an area where VoLTE is available.
Verizon Wireless currently has 42 million customers that are using 3G-only smartphones, and they will all have to upgrade to VoLTE capable phones in the coming years if they want to continue to receive voice/data service.
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RE: Something fishy
8/13/2014 8:12:09 AM
Currently Verizon's low band LTE (the RF frequency band they used when they began rolling out LTE back in 2009 time frame) is getting congested because it is a lower frequency and cannot yield the data throughput that many are demanding in high traffic areas. Verizon is expanding their LTE throughput by carrier aggregation with their new XLTE system (I am installing the equipment for this system right now in the Philly PA area) which is a fancy name for their high band LTE which offers roughly double the throughput of their low band system that is currently in place.
Low band equates to greater range and building penetration
High band (AWS 1710Mhz - 2150Mhz) Offers greater throughput as it has more on and off cycles due to higher frequency, but the trade off is less building penetration and less coverage area. This is offset somewhat by adding TMA's (Tower Mounted Amplifiers) to the XLTE system to allow for greater RX sensitivity.
All this is to say that as Verizon discontinues their old CDMA technology they can recycle their 850Mhz cellualar band (low band)and their 1900Mhz PCS band (high band) for additional LTE bandwidth or reserve it for 5G in the future.
AT&T uses high and low band GSM/UMTS for 3G voice and data as well as low band LTE for data.
Additionally, LTE is based on the GSM standard so voice over LTE is not an issue and should not take up considerable bandwidth. Each tower sector can handle 200 connected users, but the avialable data throughput has to be shared.
RE: Something fishy
8/13/2014 8:20:00 AM
Heh, another noob polluting the comments section with facts. Let's be gentle, he doesn't know any better.
Joking aside, welcome and thanks for the explanation.
"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
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