& cplSiteName &

AT&T's VoLTE Phones Start Trickling Out

Sarah Thomas

It's looking increasingly as if AT&T will give Verizon a run for its money to be the first Tier 1 operator to launch voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) service in the US, as rumors of testing on Samsung devices leak out.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) announced its first VoLTE-capable smartphone, the Padfone X, at CES last week. Surprisingly, it didn't come from a top-five smartphone vendor, but from AsusTek Computer Inc. The Padfone X will support both HD voice and VoLTE, although AT&T isn't saying what that launch date will be nor if it will turn on that support at launch. (See AT&T Hears Call of VoLTE in 2014.)

At the same time, a report in the Korea Herald Monday suggests the carrier is testing the 4G voice service on Samsung Corp. smartphones. The report didn't indicate which Samsung phones are in use, but Galaxy Note 3s have been spotted on Verizon Wireless 's LTE network as well. (See Verizon VoLTE Testing Spotted.)

Samsung as a test partner would make a lot of sense for AT&T because the CE giant already has VoLTE handsets fired up in South Korea with SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) and LG Telecom . Plus, long-time AT&T partner Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) hasn't announced any plans to support 4G voice, although its latest devices do support HD voice. (See South Korea Hears First 4G Voice Service.)

With testing in full swing and PR increasing, AT&T and Verizon are neck-and-neck on getting service commercially launched. Neither one has been in a hurry -- they've been talking about VoLTE for years now. But with VoLTE smartphones coming soon, both rumored and confirmed, it's looking more likely that a commercial launch is imminent in the US. (See VoLTE Needs Passing Grade From Operator Tests.)

That's no guarantee the service will wow users, but at least we'll soon get to find out. (See Can You Hear the Voice?)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Lightning
1/17/2014 | 9:21:04 AM
Re: VoLTE in time for MWC
Hi Dan,

They can not charge more as customers will not perceive a difference for most calls as the other party will generally not be HD capable. 

Mobile operators are finally moving voice to IP, rather than having an expensive dedicated voice access network.  So the driver should be telcos savings in the long term and remained relevance as the customers preferred communications service provider.

And they should not charge more as its a disgrace the quality of mobile voice has been allowed to erode / remain the same (depending on your operator) over the past 20 years!
User Rank: Blogger
1/13/2014 | 4:07:42 PM
Re: VoLTE in time for MWC
I'm more curious about how the service will be and whether people will actually pay more for HD voice.


Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
1/13/2014 | 3:16:14 PM
VoLTE in time for MWC
I'll be willing to forgive all the broken timelines if we see a launch soon. AT&T said it will announce its first markets soon, so I hope we'll have some actual commercial deployments to discuss at MWC. They will provide a lot of fodder on what needs improvement and whether or not consumers care.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
Women often struggle to advance past middle management or end up leaving the workplace at that time, so WiC's 11th panel discussion in London next week will tackle how to get unstuck and keep moving up the corporate ladder.
Intel's Lynn Comp joins WiC on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 1PM EST to talk company culture -- what it is, how to craft a positive one and how to communicate it internally and externally.
Join Women in Comms for its 10th networking breakfast and panel discussion, where we promise to tackle those uncomfy questions, on Wednesday, Sept. 14, in Denver.
WiC congratulates the winners of our inaugural Leading Lights awards: Cisco's Yvette Kanouff, Zayo Group's Sandi Mays and startup Grid4C.
Leaders from Mellanox, Arista Networks, Syniverse, ECI Telecom and Cisco round out WiC's inaugural female tech pioneers of the year.
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
Wednesday, October 26, 1:00PM EDT
Security: Tackling DDoS
Gary Sockrider, Principal Security Technologist, Arbor Networks
Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
SDN 101
John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
Friday, November 18, 1:00PM EST
SDN & Open Source
Christopher W. Rice, Senior Vice President of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei at SCTE 2016

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
LRTV Custom TV
New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cliff Grossner on Cloud & Network Synergy From Carrier Service

10|18|16   |     |   (0) comments

Local carriers offer the collaborated cloud and network service that benefits from their understanding of the regulations operating in different vertical markets.
In this interview, Cliff Grossner from IHS Technology talks about how this advanced service can support business agility and flexibility.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live from SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Cyrille Morelle, VeEX's President and CEO, talks with Light Reading's Alan Breznick live from the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016. They discuss DOCSIS 3.1 technology, deployments and early lessons learned. New products on display include the CX350s-D3.1, CX380s-D3.1, CX310, AT2500-3G, FX150 OTDR and MTT WiFI Air Expert.
LRTV Custom TV
Smith Micro's Carrier-Grade WiFi Component

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Carol Wilson of Light Reading as she interviews the CTO of Smith Micro, Dave Sperling.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Attacks Have Major Internet Sites on the Ropes
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/21/2016
Trump: Dump AT&T/TW & Comcast/NBC
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/24/2016
Layer3 TV Comes to Town, Hints at Future
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/21/2016
Verizon Wants More Data on Yahoo Breach
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/20/2016
WiCipedia: Grace Hopper Promotes Diversity, Girl Scouts Code & How to Thrive
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 10/21/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.