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Verizon Preps Network, Waits on Marketing Nod for VoLTE

Sarah Thomas

Verizon Wireless will be "network ready" for voice-over LTE (VoLTE) and rich communications services (RCS) this year, but how they get rolled out is up to the marketing team, according to Verizon CTO's Tony Melone.

Addressing the audience at Genband's conference in Orlando, Melone said that Verizon is currently testing advanced wireless services such as VoLTE and RCS, and it will "be aggressive there but won't launch before it's ready."

"When we do it, we want to make sure it reaches the same high-quality standards of our current voice network," Melone said. "We'll be network ready this year. How we decide to roll it out is still being discussed within our marketing organization."

Melone also touted Verizon's market leadership with LTE, noting that it already covers more than 90 percent of the U.S. population and will match its 3G footprint before the end of the year. But, VoLTE is one metric that AT&T Inc. may win out on.

AT&T says it will have its first VoLTE handsets available this year. Verizon's CFO Fran Shammo said on the operator's recent earnings call that it will launch VoLTE-capable handsets in early 2014. (See Verizon Promises Voice-Over-LTE in 2014 and AT&T Searches for VoLTE Product 'Leader'.) -- Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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