LOS ANGELES -- A top T-Mobile US executive told FierceWirelessTech that roughly 33 percent of all of the carrier's voice calls are now transmitted using Voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology. That's a notable milestone considering T-Mobile first launched VoLTE in May 2014 in Seattle on a trio of phones.
T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray briefly discussed the carrier's VoLTE progress on the sidelines of the carrier's Uncarrier X announcement in Los Angeles. Ray said one-third of the carrier's calls are VoLTE, a figure that includes in-network as well as outbound calls. He said the carrier continues to work to move all of its operations into IP.
Instead of traveling over old-school, circuit-switched networks, VoLTE sends voice calls over IP-based LTE networks. However, for the user, the experience is pretty much the same -- you dial a number and then talk when someone picks up -- albeit with more audio clarity thanks to HD Voice technology.
VoLTE also sets the stage for a variety of advancements like video calling and voice over Wi-Fi calling. Indeed, the launch of T-Mobile's Wi-Fi-calling service is based on its VoLTE technology.
T-Mobile was the first major carrier to launch VoLTE, but AT&T and Verizon followed closely behind. AT&T launched HD Voice services using Voice over LTE technology in select markets in May 2014. The company's service initially launched on the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini and then expanded to additional devices.
AT&T told FierceWirelessTech today that the company's VoLTE service is now available in 30 states and Washington, D.C. The company declined to share the percentage of its VoLTE call volume.
Verizon launched VoLTE nationwide in September 2014, initially on the Samsung Galaxy S5 and LG G2. Verizon spokesman Chuck Hamby told FierceWirelessTech that since that launch Verizon has sold more than 35 Million VoLTE-capable smartphones. He said nearly 25 percent of those devices have been "provisioned for our Advanced Calling (VoLTE) service."
Added Hamby: "We recently added new features to Verizon Messages that add value to Advanced Calling: Verizon Messages now also includes new features, such as making and receiving voice calls on your tablet. Advanced Calling customers who pair their phone number to the app on their tablet can make and receive voice calls. That means when you're with your tablet and your phone is charging in the bedroom you can take the call from the tablet you have in your hand."
Hamby declined to provide the percentage of Verizon's VoLTE calls.
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