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One Voice Means Your LTE Calls Will One Day Be VoIP

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[qi:083] A large group of carriers and equipment makers yesterday came out in support of a standard called One Voice to provide voice over the next-generation Long Term Evolution mobile networks. For those adopting the standard, LTE mobile calls would become VoIP calls. The standard is necessary to ensure you can call people on 3G networks from a 4G network and across different providers, and reduces the complexity of making that happen. 4G networks are all IP-based, while voice calls are still routed over circuit-switched networks, which could cause communication problems. Figuring out how to deliver circuit-switched calls on a packet network was going to result in compromises and costs I detailed back in April.

So enter AT&T, Orange, Telefonica, TeliaSonera, Verizon, Vodafone, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nokia, Samsung Electronics, and Sony Ericsson, which are all stepping behind the One Voice effort that will use a standard version of the IMS framework to route voice calls between the IP and circuit-switched networks. It’s easy to understand why the equipment makers are behind this — they’ve been trying to sell IMS gear for years, and because most of the carriers involved have their own IP-based wireless network they’ve already got their own IMS equipment.

However, a few notable players are missing from the One Voice effort, such as T-Mobile and some of the Chinese carriers. There is also still the question of when these standards will actually be implemented and, thus, able to be deployed in the network. Verizon plans to have its LTE network covering 100 million people by the end of next year, and AT&T will start trials at that time as well. Given that yesterday’s announcement was the beginning of a process that could take a year or longer to cement, we’re still going to need an interim solution if carriers want to provide voice on LTE networks.

This standard shows that voice over LTE is finally a big issue for carriers, said Steven Shaw, VP of marketing for Kineto, which is part of a competing LTE voice effort called VoLGA. He denied that One Voice obviates the need for VoLGA given how long it will take for a standard to be ratified and implemented. Carriers can use VoLGA in the meantime, he notes, which would generate revenue for Kineto. Regardless, getting big industry players to get a standards effort rolling is a key step for those who want 4G handsets — even if they won’t be out in 2011.

12 Responses to “One Voice Means Your LTE Calls Will One Day Be VoIP”

  1. Jerry Fleckhiemer

    The article is ok… I think fragmentation could have been spoken more to though in the way of recreating the old (or maintaining) CDMA v the world approach to US telecommunications. LTE/IMS will bring the US into a truly transparent world of international telecommunications. AT&T is there but because of CDMA, there are about 100 million americans that has to stay in the country or drop there carrier to go international. Verizon’s World phones don’t count because they are basically two phones in one and that’s stupid or a kluge.

    This maneuver also allows the carriers to effectively kick the proverbial “can” down the road. Way down the road per Verizon beyond 2020. The carriers would prefer LTE be what it is wireless broadband which is equivalent to DSL or Cable. The mass are getting a head of their selves thinking carrier really want to innovate. Innovation take money and that is not what fat cats do, spend money. There are may advancements that never happened and no one remembers what they were. Take Google Voice which is an outdated platform from the late 90’s marketed by Glenayre call PNS (Personal Number Service). AT&T’s voicemail to text was being done by Wildfire back in the mid-90’s. Moore’s Law does not apply to telecom companies. They always bring up something old and tell you it’s new. I bet if you start flicking through Bell Labs patents, you will find crap from the 50’s being fed to the unknowing masses hunger for nothing new but something different. It’s that old story of having something the other guy doesn’t and not creating something new that only you have. Do you like vintage car? :)

  2. personally i would like to see carrier voice disappear all together, give us dumb pipes and than we be put whatever voice service we choose ‘over the top.’ that might be skype,, google voice, truphone or even some tiny unheard of SIP operation that few other people even knows exists.

    • Jerry Fleckhiemer


      OneVoice is SIP or VoIP. What you want is what has been agreed to by these carriers. The problem is what type of client will be supported on the handset because the carriers will have to adjust the CoS for that protocol to monitor the QoS of the packet transmission.

  3. Funtomas

    WiMax is 4G too so will One Voice spur handset deployment in Sprint/Clearwire network? Beside the missing T-mobile, where’s Huawei, the Chinese LTE infrastructure manufacturer who has won several contracts across European countries?

    • Jerry Fleckhiemer

      WiMax is 4G but these standards wouldn’t apply. WiMax is based on WiFi or that 802.x stuff and these are true carrier grade telecommunications standards for voice ie CDMA, GSM, UMTS, etc. WiMax is effectively data only like that stupid 2G EvDO stuff that Verizon pawns off as 3G data. In short, WiMax is 4G data. LTE is being marketed as a ubiquitous transport for telecommunications voice and data networks.