T-Mobile searches for VoLTE specialists

T-Mobile USA is looking to hire a specialist in Voice over LTE technology, an indication that the carrier may be prepping a VoLTE launch when it introduces LTE service next year.

In the carrier's job posting for a "senior engineer to focus on the design and implementation of VoLTE," T-Mobile states that the person will "lead a cross functional team through the design, requirements, development, Implementation and ongoing engineering of the core network elements associated with this service."

Among the responsibilities of the position are to "conduct lab trials and evaluate multiple vendor products against 3GPP or OMA specs" and "provide detailed feedback to vendor and internal teams." The job posting was first uncovered by Light Reading.

Many U.S. carriers are moving toward VoLTE launches either this year or next year, but what makes T-Mobile's job posting so unusual is that the carrier has seemingly walked away from VoLTE as a technology it wants to deploy.

Earlier this year, Andrew Sherrard, T-Mobile's senior vice president of marketing, told Phone Scoop the company would look to launch an IMS based Wi-Fi calling client for cellular voice service instead of VoLTE. Additionally, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray told FierceWireless around the same time that T-Mobile might deploy Voice over HSPA.

"We are still evaluating it," Ray said at the time. "We are trying to move things forward on many fronts. We want to see a strong, vibrant, growing HSPA family of products."

A T-Mobile spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the company's current stance on VoLTE. T-Mobile plans to deploy LTE service starting next year on its 1700 MHz AWS spectrum. This summer the carrier began testing LTE Release-10 equipment, dubbed LTE Advanced.

Other carriers are not standing still when it comes to VoLTE. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), which has an LTE network covering 230 million people, will add the capability to its network later this year, Verizon Communications CTO Tony Melone has said.

MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS) executives have said the company will launch two to three smartphones with VoLTE by year-end. MetroPCS wants to migrate voice service to VoLTE so it can refarm the spectrum it uses for CDMA service. AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) plans to have VoLTE in place by 2013, and Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) has said it will offer VoLTE when it launches its TDD-LTE network by the middle of 2013.

For more:
- see this T-Mobile job posting
- see this Light Reading article
- see this Phone Scoop article

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