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.
Sprint yesterday hosted a media event to announce a number of new initiatives, including a longer trial period for its services, nationwide HD Voice, additional LTE markets and a new focus on fitness apps and services, along with the fitness-focused Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport. However, some in attendance remained notably unimpressed: "We do not believe any of the announcements are a game changer and continue to expect Sprint to struggle to take share," wrote Credit Suisse analysts Joseph A Mastrogiovanni and Michael Baresich in a note to investors following the event.
Sprint today made a number of new announcements today aimed at increasing interest in its services and improving its offerings, including reinstating a 30-day satisfaction guarantee that it discontinued in 2011.
T-Mobile US said it has launched Voice over LTE in the Seattle area for customers using three devices, the LG Electronics G Flex and Samsung Electronics Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Light. The announcement comes just ahead of AT&T Mobility's own VoLTE launch, scheduled for Friday in a handful of markets on one phone.
Verizon Wireless reiterated its plans to launch VoLTE sometime this year, and said that when it launches the service the carrier will offer a "robust line" of VoLTE-capable smartphones and video calling services. Verizon's announcement likely is an effort to counter rival AT&T Mobility's own VoLTE launch, scheduled for Friday in a handful of markets on one phone.
NEW YORK--AT&T Mobility's forthcoming launch of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is one iteration of its "User-Defined Network Cloud" SDN and NFV efforts, and part of its strategy of starting to roll out "beachhead" projects this year that demonstrate new networking capabilities, according to an AT&T executive.
AT&T Mobility said it plans to launch HD Voice services using Voice over LTE technology in select markets starting May 23. The company said the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini will be the first phone that can make use of the service, and that it will expand the service to additional devices in the future.
AT&T Mobility is primed to launch Voice over LTE service in two markets, Chicago and Minneapolis, on May 23, likely becoming the first Tier 1 carrier to do so, according to Engadget.
Verizon Wireless confirmed that it expects to introduce VoLTE this year and will simultaneously roll out mobile high-definition (HD) voice using the W-AMR speech compression algorithm.
It's been more than two years since operators first started hinting that Voice over LTE would be widely deployed as a way to make their networks more efficient and provide customers with more advanced voice services. But after many fits and starts, the technology has yet to see any widespread traction in the U.S. market.