Verizon Conducts First VoLTE Test Call, Plans to Showcase Service at MWC

Verizon Wireless’ push to bring voice services to its recently launched LTE network gained momentum as the carrier said it placed an “IMS-based VoLTE (Voice over LTE) call over its commercial network” yesterday morning. The carrier claims the call was the first over a commercial network.

The call was placed using a pair of soon-to-launch LG Electronics Revolution smart phones with the initial call lasting an apparently noteworthy 33 seconds. Verizon Wireless noted that during additional calls, some of which lasted for up to 10 minutes, users were able to simultaneously browse the Internet and use other data service while the call was in session.

The ability to surf the Web and talk at the same time, while limited in its actual need, is one of the marketing points used by rival AT&T Mobility in trumpeting its HSPA version of Apple iPhone compared with the current CDMA version offered by Verizon Wireless. There has been no word on the launch of a LTE-equipped iPhone, though with both Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility moving towards the standard that device is likely just a matter of time.

Verizon Wireless said it plans to showcase the VoLTE service at next week’s Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain. The carrier used last year’s event to throw its support behind the VoLTE standard, which until that point saw plans for voice services over LTE spread across several different standards.

Verizon Wireless said it does not expect to launch a commercial version of the service until at least next year as the carrier’s current LTE network covers less than half of its legacy CDMA offering. The carrier has also seen to include CDMA technology in the recent rash of LTE-equipped smart phones it plans to launch this year with the legacy technology providing the sole voice support as well as fall-back data services when the device is outside of LTE coverage.

Other LTE carriers have said they were also trialing the VoLTE standard, with MetroPCS Communications this week saying it planned to launch a commercial offering during the second half of this year.

Source: RCR Wireless


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