Light Reading

Verizon Beefs Up LTE Network, Nears VoLTE

Sarah Thomas
10/17/2013
50%
50%

Coming off a solid quarter in which it added 1.1 million customers, Verizon Wireless is turning its attention toward augmenting its 4G LTE network as well as launching its first voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) handset in the fourth quarter.

Speaking on the carrier's third-quarter earnings call, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) CFO Fran Shammo played down the speeds of LTE, noting that those only matter when the network is unloaded, instead choosing to talk up what Verizon Wireless is doing to bolster its network in major urban markets like New York, San Francisco, and Chicago.

This work has already started in NYC where the carrier is upgrading its LTE network to 2x20 Mhz channels. (See: Verizon Deploying Fatter 4G Pipes in NYC.)

"We're building the network for a consistent, reliable experience," he said. "Our network engineers designed the network for when it's fully loaded."

With 38 percent of its customers on the 4G network generating 64 percent of data usage, Shammo said it's getting to that point. Right now Verizon's main focus is on deploying its AWS spectrum, but it also plans to reappropriate its 3G spectrum for LTE. Shammo said Verizon's spectrum position is solid for three to four years, but it plans to get in on future auctions as well.

In addition, the CFO said Verizon is being proactive on in-building coverage and densification of cell sites. The work started in the third quarter, he said, but begins in earnest in the fourth.

With 500 markets covered with LTE reaching 97 percent of the US population, or 303 million people, Verizon is now 99 percent done matching its 3G network footprint. Coverage was the key for it to launch VoLTE. Shammo reiterated that Verizon wouldn't start offering 4G voice until it was very similar to what its customers expect from a 3G CDMA call. "It's an unbelievable network," he said of Verizon 3G, and that's why it's taking so long on VoLTE.

"You'll probably see us have a VoLTE capable handset in the fourth quarter and will light up the VoLTE rollout in the first half of next year," Shammo said, echoing the timeline the operator has stated several times in the past. (See: Verizon Preps Network, Waits on Marketing Nod for VoLTE, Verizon Promises Voice-Over-LTE in 2014, and Shades of VoLTE.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(15)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
10/23/2013 | 10:20:33 AM
Re: VoLTE
Hoping to talk to Verizon this week about LTE networking so I'll ask about the maps. It's not even clear to me that any of the carriers totally follow the FCC coverage maps anymore anyway, can't get a straight answer on that at all.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
10/23/2013 | 10:18:55 AM
Re: VoLTE
That's something I can ask Qualcomm about soon.
davidhoffman
50%
50%
davidhoffman,
User Rank: Light Beer
10/23/2013 | 1:54:47 AM
VoLTE
Verizon's voice and EVDO maps overstate coverage outdoors. So they are matching 99% of the incorrect maps they had before. Brilliant short term thinking. It is long past time for Verizon's management to get tough with the coverage map makers and get the maps to be far more accurate and precise.  Bad data helps to create delusionary thinking by management that the company is doing more than it really is, and alienates cutomers who try to use devices in areas that should have been marked as no service. A case in point, Peebles Drive in Forsyth GA has no signal from Maynard's Mill Road to the end of the dead end street that is Peebles Drive. Verizon's coverage map would have you believe that it is fully covered by voice and data outdoors. It is not coverd at all. 
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/21/2013 | 4:01:31 AM
Re: VoLTE
Agreed Anil on the importance of handsets. As well as the factors you mention there's a major role for the handset OS to play. MNOs have an influence on this, but fundamentally it's out of their hands.
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/21/2013 | 3:58:32 AM
Re: VoLTE
The point about handset CPU load is a good one. This basically means VoLTE needs to be (at least partially) embedded in the chipset.
AnilBhan
50%
50%
AnilBhan,
User Rank: Light Beer
10/21/2013 | 2:00:08 AM
VoLTE
Before laucnhing VoLTE services any carrier has to ensure that quality is consistent with that being provided today. Compared to other data services, customer expectations from voice services are very high. Voice as an application imposes very unique requirements on the network - it requires low bandwidth, can tolerate higher bit error rates but is highly delay sensitive. For the interactive services such as video streaming, any network glitches due to poor SINR get masked by other means such as buffering however the same is not possible with VoLTE. All in all I suppose that the LTE networks rolled out by carriers are first step towards supporting voice and require various voice specific optimizations to ensure consistent minimal SINR throughout the network even under loaded conditions.

Added to this there are specific requirements on the handset side as well relating to support for semi-persistent scheduling which means that not all LTE handsets in the market today would support VoLTE. The carriers have to device a suitable migration strategy for subscribers with such 3G devices.
pzernik
50%
50%
pzernik,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/18/2013 | 8:16:59 AM
Re: VoLTE
A big problem with VoLTE will be that that the technology does not have a way to push voice calls to 3G (CDMA) voice when capacity crosses some threshold level (based on CPU or simultaneous calls).  Verizon and other 3GPP2/3GPP carriers must be able to alter subscribers profiles- to allow or not allow VoLTE- in the HSS based on network loading. 
RitchBlasi
50%
50%
RitchBlasi,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/17/2013 | 2:46:42 PM
VoLTE
$$$$ is always motivational.  :-)
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
10/17/2013 | 2:33:09 PM
Re: VoLTE
Rich


I'm certain that VoLTE is going to cause US carriers a LOT of headaches to implement. But there is an eventual profit and spectrum motive that benefits them if they get it working, they can start to use 3G spectrum for M2M or 4G and not circuit switched voice. I don't doubt that its going to be hard but $$$ is obviously a motivator in this.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
10/17/2013 | 1:54:46 PM
Re: VoLTE
Hey, your skeptcism is totally fair, and shared by many. Sounds like even Verizon and AT&T might even share it since they use qualifiers like hopefully and probably. Even when it's network ready, it'll be a marketing decision. Verizon has confirmed that in the past.

And, for the record, I WAS in high school in 2001, but i didn't have a cell phone yet. :)
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network functions virtualization (NFV) is not the easiest of topics to take on board, so here's a Light Reading infographic, developed following conversations with the folks at HP, that helps make sense of where NFV is taking the industry.
Hot Topics
Choosing a Technology Supplier? Consider Changing Your Selection Criteria
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 5/18/2015
Verizon Saves 60% Swapping Copper for Fiber
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/19/2015
Chattanooga Charts Killer Gigabit Apps
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/20/2015
Smarter 'Dumb' TVs Will Drive OTT Adoption
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/18/2015
Charter, Bright House: The Wedding's Back On
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/19/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
I recently popped down to Texas to chat with CEO Eric L. Pratt about his company, Taqua.
Cats with Phones