Light Reading
LTE carrier has announced its first VoLTE phone, the Padfone X, and is reportedly testing the 4G voice service on Samsung devices.

AT&T's VoLTE Phones Start Trickling Out

Sarah Reedy
1/13/2014
50%
50%

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
alan@alanquayle.com
50%
50%
alan@alanquayle.com,
User Rank: Light Beer
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!
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
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.

 

 
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
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 Light Reedy
Despite the launch of its new Passport smartphone, BlackBerry needs to embrace a future that's in M2M, messaging and enterprise services.
Vodafone's Dr. Alan Law talks to Light Reading about virtualization, backhaul, SON and more after being appointed chairman of the Small Cell Forum.
Wireless operators are jumping on the mobile music bandwagon, a move that sounds good for many reasons.
The worlds of tennis, fashion and wearables collide as Ralph Lauren and OMsignal turn a polo into a sensor to track your every movement.
The fine print on Sprint's new $60 plan suggests it can prioritize other plans' traffic first – a letdown, and maybe even a net neutrality violation.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Is your network built on 'The Old IP,' or are you part of 'The New IP' revolution?
LRTV Documentaries
A Cultural Shift for an OTT World

9|26|14   |   01:41   |   (3) comments


Telcos need to embrace a new approach to partnerships if they are to generate extra revenues quickly and give customers what they want.
LRTV Documentaries
New Skills Needed as Telecom, IT Collide

9|26|14   |   4:07   |   (1) comment


As telecom and IT collide, new technologies are emerging, new skills are needed and new opportunities for women are arising.
UBB Forum News
Do IP Networks Need An Overhaul?

9|25|14   |   02:01   |   (0) comments


As traffic levels ramp, do IP networks need new technologies and topologies?
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley

9|25|14   |   3:09   |   (10) comments


Anne-Louise Kardas, Sprint's connection to startups in the Valley, explains how telcos can be innovative and find new opportunities with partners.
LRTV Documentaries
SDN, NFV & The Future of XO's Network

9|25|14   |   3:47   |   (0) comments


XO Communications COO Don MacNeil explains how cloud, SDN and NFV are altering its network requirements as well as changing data centers of the future.
UBB Forum News
The OTT Conundrum

9|24|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


What is holding back prosperous partnerships between telcos and the OTT players?
LRTV Documentaries
Putting Broadband to Work

9|24|14   |   01:26   |   (0) comments


High-speed broadband network rollout is key to telco strategies, but it's what happens after the network is built that counts.
Light Reedy
Light Reading's Women in Telecom Recap

9|24|14   |   0:55   |   (4) comments


Our first Women in Telecom breakfast was a huge success, and we hope you'll join us in London for the next event on November 6.
UBB Forum News
Monetizing Ultra-Broadband

9|24|14   |   01:43   |   (2) comments


Ultra-broadband networks need to be built, with fiber-to-the-premises the ultimate goal, but they need to be monetized, too.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Half of the world's population will be connected to the Internet by 2017, but not just by smartphones and desktops.
Hot Topics
Facebook Pokes Around LTE Direct
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
US Ignite Cultivates Gigabit Apps
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/25/2014
Comcast Turns Off Streampix
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/26/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed