Qualcomm today announced the first commercial VoLTE launch in Japan. NTT’s VoLTE solution uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor in the handset with a multimode integrated VoLTE modem and IMS software that supports enhanced services on NTT DOCOMO’s network.
VoLTE delivers calls over LTE, which normally does not carry voice. VoLTE is a standardized scheme to provide voice and SMS services over LTE and will support higher quality calls and connect calls faster than GSM or CDMA.
As the VoLTE transition is completed, carrier networks will get rid of aging legacy technology. In the future everything will be handled over data networks.
The Snapdragon 800 processor supports all key VoLTE features such as CDRX, RoHC, SPS, and TTI Bundling that are designed to improve call quality and lower power consumption. Its Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) is designed to support a smooth handover from LTE to 3G without dropping voice calls.
NTT DOCOMO has launched VoLTE service commercially nationwide in Japan as of June, said Kazuaki Terunuma, vice president and managing director of communication device development department at NTT DOCOMO.
Carrier grade VoLTE are part of the native dialer and faster and more efficient than VoIP over LTE apps that are available on app stores. Most of these apps use their own proprietary protocols/infrastructure/network and use the operator’s best-effort data network.
SoftBank in Japan uses UMTS 900(B8)/2100(B1) and LTE bands 1, 3 (through E-Mobile), and 41 (like Sprint). Au by KDDI in Japan uses LTE bands 26 and 41. NTT DoCoMo uses UMTS 850(B6)/2100(B1) and LTE bands 1, 3, 19.
Meanwhile, Singtel claims it has launched the world’s first commercial and fully featured VoLTE service in Singapore. The city state operator, which launched the service in partnership with Samsung and Ericsson, said that its 4G Clearvoice service is the only live VoLTE service offering features such as call waiting and call forwarding over an LTE network.
The service will first be available to customers who own Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3, after a software update enabling VoLTE. Models sold from the beginning of June will have the update pre-installed, while Singtel said that other devices would receive the update “in the coming months.”
This May, AT&T announced its own VoLTE launch. The initial market will be limited, however. HD Voice will only be available to customers who have a Samsung S4 mini and are making or receiving calls in a limited footprint comprising “select areas” in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin. AT&T said more devices and an expanded coverage area would follow in due course.