BARCELONA, Spain--What wireless carriers have been marketing as "HD Voice" may not actually be truly high-definition voice quality, according to an executive heavily involved in the development of the industry's audio codecs. However, carriers that have been using the term HD Voice to describe enhanced call quality stand by their use of it, arguing it has been endorsed by the GSMA.
Sprint is working with network vendor BroadSoft to enable next-generation IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) technology as well as Voice over LTE. However, Sprint has not given a firm timeline for when it will launch VoLTE service.
During AT&T Mobility's annual developer summit, Editor in Chief Sue Marek sat down with Kris Rinne, senior vice president of network architecture and planning at AT&T Labs, to get a status report on some key initiatives for the company such as voice over LTE, HD voice, small cells and more. Here's an excerpt from that interview.
AT&T Mobility is testing Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service on smartphones from Samsung Electronics, according to a Yonhap News report. The report, which cited unnamed sources, comes less than 10 days after AT&T revealed that its first VoLTE phone will be from Asus, a relatively small smartphone player.
AT&T is still planning to roll out VoLTE this year, and it is also still banking on widespread small cell deployments to help it fill LTE coverage gaps, said a top executive for the carrier.
Mobile HD Voice is starting to take off and get more mainstream support from operators around the world, according to a new report from the Global mobile Suppliers Association. However, the service is still fairly nascent in the U.S. market.
AT&T reaffirmed its plans to launch HD Voice service on its LTE network this year, but other Tier 1 carriers are not rushing to embrace the technology. Verizon Wireless, for example, will not push HD Voice through its Voice over LTE technology until late in 2013 or early 2014.
T-Mobile USA's network modernization effort has enabled it to offer improved in-call voice quality and the operator is promoting the new capability via a 30-second YouTube clip.
T-Mobile USA will launch its first LTE market in Las Vegas any day now. The operator originally planned to launch LTE in Las Vegas last week during the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show but that plan was delayed due to some last-minute tweaks that were needed on a few cell sites.
Mobile high-definition voice services are catching on worldwide, with launches reported on 45 networks in 35 countries, according to the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA).