LTE won't find voice anytime soon

07 Sep 2011

ITEM: Operators are unlikely to deploy voice solutions for LTE until LTE is ubiquitous enough to justify it.

That’s according to a panel of operators speaking during the opening session of LTE Asia in Singapore Tuesday.

Mike Wright, executive director for networks and access technologies at Telstra: “Unless you have a complete LTE layer, it drops to HSPA. So once LTE is more ubiquitous, we’ll introduce IMS for voice. We’re not tripping over ourselves to do it, and we see it as something that may be better for smaller markets.”

Masaaki Koga, GM for the industry standards department at KDDI: “You need nationwide coverage of LTE. We’ll complete that around 2014, so that timing would be a good target for launching VoLTE. We’re a bit unique too in that our voice network is cdma2000. This limits our options for handset procurement. So we have to wait for more handsets to support it.”

Mark Liversidge, chief marketing officer for CSL: “We demonstrated the world’s first VoLTE demo at the end of last year. When we can deliver an ubiquitous experience across the whole network, we’ll do it.”

Peter Cook, VP for mobile network engineering at Starhub: “We expect to be trialing it at the end of 2012, but it’s going to depend on the capacity of terminals to support it. Also, LTE voice has to roam as ubiquitously as 2G GSM voice does now, so turning off circuit-switched voice is a long ways away.”

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