T-Mobile announced a great many things yesterday, but not all of them were reason for customers everywhere to rejoice. No, some of the goods are reserved for a select segment of users. Starting today, the carrier is issuing an over-the-air update to the Galaxy S5 (G900TUVU1BNF6) that enables support for voice over LTE connections. To coincide with the news, T-Mobile's VoLTE is now available in a total of fifteen markets.
T-Mobile is ready to pull the metaphorical VoLTE lever marked Seattle, giving the city early access to the upgraded infrastructure the carrier hopes to roll out to more parts of the country over the course of the year. This voice over LTE connection will allow consumers to use voice and data at the same time, as voice calls will go out over IP on LTE rather than taking the current switched-circuit path approach.
AT&T has announced that the Galaxy S4 Mini, yes - the phone that came out back in November, is coming to the carrier May 23rd with HD Voice. It will be the first device on the network with support for making VoLTE (voice over LTE) calls. The handset isn't available for pre-order, but the carrier does have it listed as "coming soon."
AT&T is the first carrier to support making voice calls over LTE, supporting simultaneous voice and data over the IP network.
Nearly every phone sold in the last few years has a 4G LTE radio, but when you place a call it's still falling back to traditional 3G technologies. The all-IP voice technology known as VoLTE (voice over LTE) is still in the early days, but AT&T is beginning its rollout this very month on May 23rd.
Asus has been making new versions of the Padfone every few months, but none of them have ever officially come to American shores. Well, that changes with the new Padfone X. This device will be available on AT&T in the not too distant future.
The Padfone X will have a 5-inch 1080p screen when in phone mode, but like past devices in its lineage, can be docked into a larger tablet shell.
On an investor call earlier this morning, Verizon Wireless CFO Fran Shammo said that the carrier's buildout of its 4G LTE network will be completed by mid-2013. This is after an earlier estimate of the end of 2013, putting the company a full six months ahead of schedule.
Now, network news isn't really very exciting. And what I just wrote up there is pretty boring. But, this is important stuff. Verizon is quite literally years ahead of its competitors if this turns out to be true.
We're gradually working our way into an all-LTE world, but there are still a few hurdles to cross. One of those hurdles, the seamless handover from LTE to 3G during a VoLTE (voice-over-LTE) call, has now been achieved by Qualcomm.
So, what does that mean, exactly? Basically, if you're on a VoLTE call in an LTE network and you leave the coverage zone, the call would normally go dead. Thanks to this new chip from Qualcomm, though, that all changes.
There's been a lot of buzz over Sprint's LTE plans lately, but the company's vice president of network development and engineering, Iyad Tarazi has just added more fuel to the fire, indicating that Sprint plans to deploy LTE-Advanced in a 10x10 configuration by the first half of 2013, using its 800MHz spectrum, offering download speeds of around 12-15 MB/s.
Meanwhile, Sprint's deployment of LTE on their 1900MHz spectrum is still on track for commercial launch by mid-2012.