& cplSiteName &

T-Mobile Beats AT&T, Verizon to VoLTE

Sarah Thomas
5/22/2014
50%
50%

T-Mobile is officially the first Tier 1 US operator to go live with voice over LTE, having launched the 4G voice service near its home market of Seattle.

The carrier is beating AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) by one day in announcing its service is live in Seattle and working on the LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) G Flex and the Samsung Corp. Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Light via a software update. AT&T plans to launch VoLTE in parts of four states tomorrow, and Verizon Wireless has said it will go live with its 4G voice service with HD voice and video calling sometime in the coming months. (See Verizon's Journey to VoLTE, in Videos and AT&T Confirms VoLTE Launch in 4 States.)

T-Mobile US Inc. -owned MetroPCS was actually the first to launch VoLTE in the US back in 2012, so the carrier might have had a leg up. It will offer VoLTE with HD voice, which it has been providing for 3G calls since January 2013. In a blog post on the launch, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray wrote the carrier has "been working hard on a LTE Advanced version of VoLTE, which we plan to roll out to more T-Mobile customers throughout the coming year." (See MetroPCS Changes Course on 4G Voice.)

Ray also wrote that the carrier will be the first in the US to use enhanced single-radio voice call continuity (eSRVCC) to ensure calls aren't dropped when its customers move from an LTE pocket to an HSPA+ or 2G area. He called VoLTE a step toward offering a host of rich communications services and additional innovations around WiFi calling in the coming months, suggesting T-Mobile's launch will just include HD voice initially.

After months -- even years -- of delays, VoLTE is finally coming to the US. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is the only operator that has yet to give a solid timeline for deploying its version of the 4G voice technology. (See VoLTE: So Close You Can Hear It and Sprint Taps BroadSoft for VoLTE Transition.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(10)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
RitchBlasi
50%
50%
RitchBlasi,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/27/2014 | 2:01:06 PM
VoLTE
Here we go again with the boasting rights.  None of this is going to be a big deal until there is a national footprint.  Even if backward compatibility works flawlessly.  For Verizon, VoLTE makes sense since it wasn't able to offer simultaneous voice and data, for GSM guys, it's the next evolutionary step and maybe not required as much.  Legre can add this to his "no-contract/contract," and "intl roaming on 2G" feathers in his caps.  He might want to keep an eye on those profits though.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/23/2014 | 1:46:44 PM
Re: VoLTE wars
I expect the iPhone will get support for VoLTE soon enough. 

The iPhone is reportedly technically capable of supporting VoLTE now, but there are network barriers. Also, battery life is something to be concerned about. The iPhone 5, at least, has pretty bad battery life even without VoLTE making an additional drain. 
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/22/2014 | 8:08:22 PM
Re: VoLTE
@FakeMitchWagner, first counts doesn't it?

This sounds like we are moving forward into the future - the race is on!
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/22/2014 | 7:31:32 PM
Re: VoLTE wars
One day lead doesn't make much difference, but it's a nice way to tweak the competition. 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/22/2014 | 7:30:57 PM
Re: VoLTE wars
Do you know if the iPhone 5 supports VoLTE? Reason I ask is that it already has terrible battery life, and if VoLTE drains the battery well that will just exacerbate the problem. 
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/22/2014 | 5:07:13 PM
Re: VoLTE wars
Eager to see some actual hands on. Have they resolved the battery issues that delayed so many of these deployments to begin with?
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue – London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Is US Lurching Back to Monopoly Status?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Pai's FCC Raises Alarms at Competitive Carriers
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Muni Policies Stymie Edge Computing
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/17/2017
The Big Cable DAA Update
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/11/2017
Telecom Italia Covers 73% of Italy With NB-IoT
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/13/2017
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed