The GSM Association adopted the Voice over LTE (VoLTE) initiative, formerly known as One Voice, a move that is expected to help mobile device makers move ahead to provide handsets for LTE networks.
"There will be handsets available earlier than we initially thought," said Vivek Badrinath, an executive VP at France Telecom/Orange, who is chairman of the Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance. "This view is supported by other major players."
As such, it was important to coalesce around one standard for voice and messaging, the GSMA said. VoLTE is an IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) solution that competes with the Voice over LTE via Generic Access approach championed by Kineto Wireless and T-Mobile. Last year, big names such as Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson Huawei, Motorola and Samsung signed on to the initiative. But in November, big operators such as Verizon, AT&T and others threw their support behind the IMS-based solution, causing a major shift in support for VoLTE.
Verizon Wireless, which is expected to roll out the first LTE network in the U.S., indicated during this week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, that LTE handsets are looking like they are ahead of schedule. "We're in Phase 4 of trial work," Verizon chief technology officer Dick Lynch told a gathering at the WMC, noting that Verizon's trial networks in Boston and Seattle should finish their testing phase in two months. "We will then be ready to go to our vendors and say we are ready to move into commercial deployment in a big way. We have seen more interest in development of chipsets and devices than we originally thought--we underestimated it."
Still, it appears that Kinteo and T-Mobile are plugging away at the VoLGA solution. This week Kineto claimed that voice over LTE testing confirms that VoLGA outperforms current 3G network call-setup times by nearly 40 percent.
- see this InformationWeek article
- see this Kineto release
Verizon, AT&T, others rally on IMS approach to voice over LTE
Ericsson drops VoLGA support, DT demonstrates its viability
When will we see voice over LTE?
LTE voice: T-Mobile alone in pushing specs
LTE: Operators split over support for legacy voice services
Is voice over LTE a conundrum?