Verizon Wireless started rolling out Voice over LTE service nationwide but is initially making VoLTE available on only two smartphones: the Samsung Galaxy S5 and LG G2. The carrier had promised that a " robust " lineup of devices would come with its VoLTE launch, and vowed that more will come soon.
Verizon Wireless will launch its Voice over LTE service on a nationwide basis in the "coming weeks," and will enable HD Voice and video calling in phones' native dialers. However, Verizon is not saying exactly when it will launch VoLTE or which devices will support the service.
450 MHz has been something of a white elephant in the wireless community. Its propagation ability makes it a valuable commodity for trying to cover large, lightly populated areas. At the same time the limited spectrum availability in this band hinders performance, and revenue potential of building devices or deploying services at this band have so far limited the development of an ecosystem. Sure there are CDMA deployments in that band, but they haven't really make 450 MHz a hot market. Ovum estimates CDMA450 users represent well under 10% of the tal CDMA user base. However, LTE450 (LTE at 450 MHz) might finally change all of that.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse confirmed on the company's second-quarter earnings conference call that the carrier is trialing new rates plans in certain markets to determine if it should introduce more competitive pricing nationwide.
Sprint has stressed time and again that it is not rushing to launch voice over LTE (VoLTE), but that does not mean the operator is snubbing the technology. Far from it, in fact, given that a "high-level" Sprint executive has shared details regarding the "programming phase" the operator is reportedly in as it prepares to launch a VoLTE network designed for interoperability with domestic and international carriers.
T-Mobile US said 92 percent of MetroPCS' customers on its legacy CDMA network in Boston, Hartford, Conn., and Las Vegas moved onto T-Mobile's GSM/HSPA+/LTE network after T-Mobile shut off MetroPCS CDMA service in those markets. The carrier next plans to shut down MetroPCS' CDMA network in Philadelphia sometime later this year.
Sprint is likely going to report brutal subscriber losses in the second quarter, according to financial analysts. That will be largely the result of Sprint's 3G CDMA network upgrade, which has temporarily resulted in degraded service as the carrier works to improve coverage, call quality and network speeds. In response, the analysts said, Sprint will likely cut prices in the near term to remain competitive.
Sprint's pledge of unlimited data is looking increasingly less sustainable, as the carrier maneuvers to rein in network traffic generated by its heaviest data users and ensure quality of service for the majority of its customers.
T-Mobile US is notifying customers of its MetroPCS prepaid brand in New England and Las Vegas that they will need to upgrade their devices as T-Mobile prepares to shut off MetroPCS' legacy CDMA network in those areas and move customers to its GSM-based network.
The CDMA handset flashing business is alive and well, according to at least one vendor. Flashtotalk, based in Portland with 45 employees, said it counts a handful of corporate relationships with regional wireless carriers, and is working on an LTE flashing product.