T-Mobile, major vendors back new LTE voice approach

T-Mobile International and major handset and equipment vendors are joining forces to promote a new approach to delivering voice service over Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.

The group, which will formally launch its plans March 9, is called the VoLGA Forum, according to a report in Unstrung. VoLGA stands for Voice over LTE via Generic Access. Some of the wireless industry's biggest vendors are founding members of the group, including Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, LG Electronics, Motorola, Samsung, Starent and ZTE.

Since LTE is a packet-based network that will not support traditional circuit-switched telephony, the aim of the group is to provide a common set of standards to bring circuit-switched voice services to LTE networks using a generic access approach. Many operators, though they have expressed a desire to eventually migrate to LTE as a 4G standard, have yet to commit to specifics over how they would continue traditional telephony using LTE technology. The VoLGA approach will compete with IMS and VoIP as possible solutions to the problem.     

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