The nation's two largest mobile network operators have begun to commercially deploy interoperable Voice over LTE (VoLTE). Finally.
In the past seven months, Verizon Wireless said its customers have placed more than 1 billion VoLTE calls, talking for more than 3 billion minutes.
For the past decade, the industry has been laser-focused on mobile data and how network operators are going to address users' escalating demands for data. Voice services, for the most part, took a back seat to data during this time. But that's no longer true. Voice over LTE, Wi-Fi calling and HD Voice are now becoming must-have services for operators.
Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility are working to ensure that Voice over LTE calls made by customers on the different carriers can interconnect with one another. The two carriers said they are going to enable VoLTE-to-VoLTE connections in 2015.
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.
LAS VEGAS--Just two months since launching nationwide HD voice service, Sprint says that 16 million customers have access to HD voice service. Speaking at the 4G World conference held here in conjunction with Super Mobility Week, Dr. John Saw, chief network officer of Sprint said that the improved voice quality offered by HD voice is taking the pressure off the carrier to offering voice over LTE service. "We want a solid VoLTE experience before we push it out," he said.
The introduction of IP calling technology in mobile sets the stage for real change in how and when people will use telephony. According to those in the industry, we might see some significant changes to some parts of the calling experience, but phone numbers and regular old phone calls appear to be here to stay.
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.
AT&T Mobility's Voice over LTE-powered HD Voice solution provides much better call quality than traditional circuit-switched fallback voice or voice service from an over-the-top application, according to a new research report.
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.