Pretty much ever since we first heard about LTE, folks in the industry have been asking how and when it will support voice traffic. Verizon Wireless (News - Alert) this month made some progress in moving closer to voice over LTE, which the company expects to launch commercially starting next year. And it turns out VoLTE is about more than just mobile voice.
Earlier this month, the company placed the first voice over LTE (News - Alert) call over its commercial network. And Verizon Wireless is showing its voice over LTE capabilities in demonstrations with Alcatel-Lucent and LG Electronics, and Ericsson (News - Alert) and Samsung, this week during Mobile World Congress.
Robert Conway noted these efforts during his comments this morning in Barcelona. Conway is CEO and a board member of GSMA, which runs Mobile World Congress. GSMA has played a key role in standardizing voice over LTE.
“The GSMA launched a voice over LTE initiative a year ago with the aim of driving a single, industry-wide solution for voice and messaging services via IP,” said GSMA CTO Alex Sinclair in a press release. “We commend Verizon Wireless for helping to make this a reality by conducting the world’s first voice call over a commercial LTE network. The progress made by the GSMA, its members, and in particular Verizon Wireless, to enable this functionality will play a crucial role in driving strong momentum and vast economies of scale for LTE all over the world.”
Verizon CTO Tony Melone earlier this month revealed that technologists at the company had placed a live, IMS-based voice over LTE call over the carrier’s Basking Ridge, N.J., commercial network using a LG Revolution (News - Alert) 4G smartphone.
And in a press release issued this week, Melone was quoted as saying: "The promise of VoLTE is gaining traction. This isn't about just making phone calls, but about creating high quality all-IP wireless that enables rich communications services such as video chat. This is yet another proof point that the LTE ecosystem is alive, healthy and thriving. VoLTE will quickly become the global standard for delivering voice over LTE networks."
The Alcatel-Lucent/GSMA/LG Electronics (News - Alert)/Verizon Wireless demo at Mobile World Congress features IMS/LTE-based video-communications and wideband audio calls using pre-commercial handsets among the partner booths in Barcelona. The Alcatel-Lucent booth also is featuring IMS/4G LTE-based demos that incorporate VoLTE into advanced applications, such as enhanced mobile retail, remote health care, and early childhood education.
Edited by Tammy Wolf