AT&T launching first VoLTE smartphone later this year

October 8, 2013
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Recent talk coming from AT&T points towards the first VoLTE smartphone arriving sometime later this year. This little detail was mentioned by a senior AT&T executive and otherwise, the specifics were left to be a mystery. There wasn't anything said about the particular device, aside from that it will bring VoLTE support.

The AT&T VoLTE story sounds rather familiar to comments that we heard coming from Verizon Wireless earlier in the year. Back in August, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo spoke about how the first VoLTE-capable phone would be arriving late in 2013. We did get a bit more detail from Verizon though, Shammo mentioned how this particular device would also support CDMA as fallback.

VoLTE devices aside, AT&T (as well as Verizon Wireless) are not expected to have the VoLTE network commercially available until 2014. In the case of AT&T we are looking at sometime in 2014. Verizon had said the network would be arriving in the first half of 2014.

Shifting back to AT&T, these comments were coming by way of Krish Prabhu, who is the president of AT&T Labs. Prabhu noted that he believes there "might be a VoLTE-compliant device for the holidays this year." Further comments coming from Prabhu touched on how AT&T is currently doing network upgrade testing for VoLTE "right now" and that VoLTE will be able to provide an HD voice experience for customers who are using VoLTE handsets on both ends of the call.

In addition to the promise of VoLTE, Prabhu also spoke about LTE Advanced. In this case, it was said that AT&T is ready to upgrade the entire LTE network through a software update, as long as the vendors are able to "deliver what they promised." This in short, means the network will be upgraded to LTE Advanced Release 10 and also, that an LTE Advanced device would be required to take full advantage.

SOURCE: Fierce Wireless


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