Deutche Telekom abandons VoLGA for voice over LTE

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Deutsche Telekom said it has ended its push for an alternative voice over LTE technology known as VoLGA, or voice over LTE via generic access.

The German operator has been a major advocate of the technology solution since 2009 and even after the world's major operators and vendors voiced their support for the voice over the LTE solution that incorporates IP Multimedia Subsystem. DT had planned on using the circuit-switched-over-packet technology as an interim solution to voice over LTE, but in an interview with Light Reading Mobile, DT CTO Olivier Baujard said VoLGA never received enough industry support to push it forward.

"We have not created with VoLGA the traction we wanted or hoped," said Baujard. "We will implement the IMS-based solution, with CSFB [circuit-switch fallback]."

Like Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), DT will use its 3G networks to deliver voice services when it launches LTE. DT said it doesn't see a need for LTE voice services before 2012 or 2013. Meanwhile, Verizon is planning to commercially launch voice over LTE in 2012 and is touting the advantages of moving to the GSMA's VoLTE standard at this week's Mobile World Congress conference.

In an interview with FierceWireless, Verizon Communications CTO Tony Melone said that the reason the company is moving from CDMA EVDO voice to VoLTE is not driven by cost but because of the benefits that VoLTE offers such as providing enhanced call quality and the ability to conduct a simultaneous voice and data session--a capability that is currently not available on the operator's CDMA network. However, Melone added that when Verizon launches its upcoming LTE smartphone, which provides voice service using the EVDO network with LTE data, users will be able to conduct simultaneous voice and data sessions. Verizon has promised to have an LTE smartphone available sometime in the first half of the year.

For more:
- see this Light Reading Mobile article
- read this FierceWireless article

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