VoLTE/Rich communications

AT&T Searches for VoLTE Product 'Leader'

AT&T Inc. is hiring ahead of an anticipated launch of voice-over-LTE technology later this year.

The operator is advertising for a Lead Product Marketing Manager for VoLTE Deployment to be based in Atlanta. AT&T's Senior VP Kris Rinne said earlier this month that AT&T will launch VoLTE and HD Voice later this year. (See AT&T Amplifies Its 4G Voice.)

Voice-over-LTE is a sea-change technology in 4G wireless networking. Instead of using 2G and 3G circuit-switched networks to carry voice calls, VoLTE runs over IP, treating voice as just another data application. Over time, this will allow operators to offer higher-fidelity HD voice calls and offer video calls and richer messaging services via the phone.

Early attempts at the technology are not without problem. The roaming deals and technology are not in place to allow users to make calls across different operator networks. And VoLTE requires updated handsets. (See Sprint Delays HD Voice Launch to Q2. )

Thus, the role AT&T is looking to fill is no small order. The operator wants someone that will "lead AT&T in VoLTE deployment for existing services as well as new services."

AT&T ideally wants a heavy hitter that has done this before. It is calling for an applicant that has years of new-product development knowledge from the high tech, software or wireless industry.

VoLTE is a big deal for operators, because it signals the path toward them eventually being able to close down 2G and 3G assets and re-use the spectrum for 4G. It will take years for this to happen, but launching initial VoLTE services would be a baby step in that direction.

AT&T appears likely to be the first of the big three U.S. operators to launch VoLTE. Verizon Wireless has said it will target 2014 for a VoLTE launch, while Sprint has simply said that VoLTE is on the roadmap. (See Verizon Promises Voice-Over-LTE in 2014.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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