SRVCC is required by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) for a seamless hand-off when a VoLTE call leaves the LTE network coverage area. Qualcomm completed its first -- and, it claims, the world's first -- hand-off on Dec. 23, on an Ericsson network using a handset with the Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 3G/LTE multimode processor on board.
The companies will be showing off the capability at this month's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Why this matters
VoLTE is crucial for wireless operators to move voice traffic to their LTE networks, and an SRVCC-based hand-off is equally as important, as 3G and 4G networks will coexist for some time. The goal is to keep latency low enough that consumers can't detect the hand-off and can't tell which network they are making a call on.
Qualcomm also points out that SRVCC, like its predecessor, circuit-switched fall back (CSFB), relies on a single radio in the handset for hand-off and a single chip to support both LTE and 3G, meaning handset makers can design smaller phones with lower power consumption and component costs. That could mean cheaper 4G handsets, and it could significantly improve battery life -- a chief complaint about 4G phones.
Heavy Reading analyst Gabriel Brown expects the first VoLTE services to launch in mid to late 2012, led by North American CDMA operators, and to pick up traction in 2013. Indeed, MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS) has said it will launch VoLTE services in the early part of this year, and Verizon Wireless has two trial networks up and running in the U.S. and plans to take VoLTE nationwide in early 2013. (See When Will Operators Bolt to VoLTE?, MetroPCS Plots LTE Smartphones, VoLTE Trials and VZ Plans Nationwide VoLTE in 2013 .)
Get the latest on VoLTE traction below, and check out Heavy Reading's latest white paper on the topic, here.
- Operators Raise Voice Services on LTE
- Verizon Working on LTE-Advanced Standards
- MWC 2011: Verizon Plans VoLTE for 2012
- VoLTE Maintains Momentum
- Ericsson, Samsung, Verizon Try VoLTE