It sounds like Verizon has some pretty big plans and an ambitious outlook for its 4G LTE service next year. At the Oppenheimer Technology, Internet and Communications Conference in Bostin, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo shared what the company has in store for its customers on the first half of 2014, as well as his vision for LTE-only devices.
As far back as 2012, there has already been talk about Verizon rolling out its VoLTE, or Voice-over-LTE, services by 2013. That date has been pushed back and Shammo now confirms that Verizon plans to commercially launch their VoLTE service in the first half of 2014. He says that the first VoLTE-capable phone won’t arrive until late this year, but it will still be equipped with a CDMA chip as fallback.
As the name implies, VoLTE will allow voice calls to be made over Verizon’s 4G LTE network. Although Big Red already offers LTE to its customers, it is only limited to data, with calls beings delegated to their 3G cellular network. Verizon wants to be sure that the voice quality will be on par with its 3G network before rolling out the service, which is taking some time. An added complication is that VoLTE is not backward-compatible with CDMA, meaning that a voice call made over VoLTE will be dropped instead of falling back to CDMA when the LTE signal is lost.
Shammo predicts that the first CDMA-less LTE-only phone will arrive by the end of 2014. Shammo, who already made a call for LTE-only phones early this year, believes that by removing the CDMA chip on these phones, production will be more efficient and would cost less. Whether that will translate to reduced phone prices on all levels and carrier offerings remains to be seen.
VIA: Droid Life