Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Verizon Makes first Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Call Over Commercial Network

Last week in New Jersey, Verizon Wireless made the world’s first VoLTE call over a commercial network  and has continued to demonstrate the technology this past week at the2011 Mobile World Congress (MWC 2011) in Barcelona, Spain.

This is a significant technological event for a number of reasons:

  • Both LTE and WiMAX (4G technologies) are 100% Internet protocol based - voice, video and data. 3G and earlier technologies still switch voice calls.
  • Verizon is using the Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB) codec which offers better sound quality. AMR-WB is commonly referred to as "High Definition (HD) Voice". It is a significant improvement over existing mobile voice.
  • LTE network setup, configuration and maintenance is simpler and will ultimately cost providers less. This should speed implementation and ultimately drive consumer costs down.
  • By the end of 2013, Verizon will have the existing 3G footprint covered with LTE. Between now and the end of 2013, users will have the option of using the Verizon 3G network or 4G VoLTE. 4G calls cannot be handed off to 3G service and phones will come with both 3G and LTE radios.
  • AT&T is targeting VoLTE capabilities by 2013 with a seven year plan to move fully to LTE, shutting down it's existing TDM based network.

 Here's an Engadget demo video shot at MWC 2011 this past week.


Landline quality over a wireless connection. This is going to put a significant dent in already rapidly declining landline business.


Mark Viquesney said...

Gordon, you mention WIMAX - but, if I remember correctly from your other blogs, WIMAX is not LTE? Is this correct? And even though Sprint runs 4G - are they also considering LTE?

And though it will be cheaper in the long run, I do not see any savings being passed to the consumers because they will say they need it for 5G (whatever that may be).

Anonymous said...

Thank you Gordon,
I am sharing your Blog with coworkers. it certainly seems that telcoms should move towards and invest in LTE.

Gordon F Snyder Jr said...

Mark - yes - Sprint is WiMAX. WiMAX uses TDD spectrum and LTE uses FDD spectrum.
LTE spectrum space is much more crowded that WiMAX.
There is a new way to use WiMAX spectrum for LTE called TD-LTE.
If TD-LTE pans out I would not be surprised to see Sprint bought out by either Verizon Wireless of AT&T for three big reasons - customers, access and spectrum.

Cindy Mikulecky said...

Gordon, The person in the video wasn't selling me on the great benefits of this new technology until he said the phone could allow speech and data at the same time (which ATT has now in 3G). I wonder at what point is it just the company trying to reach the moon first and to an average user it just gets confusing...