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Verizon: VoLTE Launching End of 2013, in Testing Now

Today, Verizon is letting the public in on plans for their 4G LTE network. VZW’s Nicola Palmer first laid out the numbers, which are growing more impressive by the day. As of right now, Verizon’s 4G LTE covers 75% of America’s population with 350+ markets. Today’s announcement is big for Verizon, as they have announced that they will easily meet their goal of having 400 LTE markets by the end of this year. On and around October 18, 4G LTE will go live in 20+ additional cities, bringing the total to 417 cities. 

Once the press were allowed to ask follow-up questions is when some more interesting info became available. As for VoLTE, it is currently being tested on the network and they are expected to offer the service by the end of 2013. They also touched briefly on LTE Advanced, but didn’t go far into detail. She stated that as the technology grows, they will look more into incorporating it.

As for the “road ahead,” Palmer says that their 4G LTE network will cover their entire 3G footprint by the end of 2013, so if you’re on Verizon and still aren’t seeing 4G LTE, it sounds like 2013 is going to be huge for you.

  • Myname

    I dont think i any carrier will get rid of 3g for a super long time… I mean 4g lte is already exploding and my phone still goes onto edge data

  • Gary Gross

    Data plan , but I would then be able to drop the phone line charges? I pay ?

  • duke69111

    How will the VoLTE hurt our data speeds once everyone starts using it?

  • smchale13

    But won’t all the extra VoLTE traffic slow down the slowest 4G network in the nation.

    • CapnShiner

      Whether or not Verizon has the slowest 4G network depends on how you define 4G. The GSM carriers consider HSDPA+ to be 4G and it is not as fast as Verizon’s LTE. If you compare only LTE networks, I suppose AT&T could be faster but I have not seen any data to make a comparison. As for the VoLTE traffic slowing it down, I am pretty sure they would compensate for that.

      • acras

        Yea , they’ll compensate by renaming it 5G at the official launch of VoLTE . Since none of the carriers in the U.S. are even close to what the standard for 4G is supposed to be , they might as well .

  • Jim McClain

    isnt this where we see another TT&T comercial about how they cover 2000 more cities than verizon , lol

  • eric815

    Do all the customers on the tiered data w unlimited minutes realize their choice minutes will soon come from their data bucket? He’s no more free unlimited minutes. That’s how they get you

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Robson/1317522018 Chris Robson

    Well I for one won’t be on VoLTE for a long time I got my GS3 and its my last contract phone. I will probably just keep replacing it when it dies using insurance.

  • George264

    I like how MetroPCS already has VoLTE and Verizon doesn’t. Now T-Mobile is buying Metro, and they are using Metro’s spectrum for 4G… Hmm, just another great reason for me to switch to T-Mo, where I can use unlocked phones, 70$ unlimited everything, and VoLTE, when my contract with Verizon ends. Can’t wait.

    • enigmaco

      i came across this to while researching this volte according to the article a company in korea is already launching it and it happened back in august http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/08/worlds-first-voice-over-lte-launches-in-korea-us-stuck-with-3g-calls/

      • George264

        I like where Verizon says they are “satisfied with their current voice network”.
        They don’t even care what customers think. They don’t care about how much battery drains, and extra radios put into a phone. They just want to milk their 3G until it’s dead.

        • enigmaco

          Nobody uses their voice network much anymore lol, Verizon released a statement awhile back stating voice calls and text were down dramatically. That is why they switched to that share everything, they are not losing money on it only gaining.

          I have a feeling soon we won’t see phone bills but only data bills.

          • George264

            Problem is, when I do make calls with my parents or want to talk with friends over voice, I want the same awesome experience as my 4G is. Not some crackly, buzzing, voice.

          • enigmaco

            That is understandable, we don’t use the phone that much we have the lowest family minute package they have and we have went over it once due to them not switching to friends and family, after that we rarely go over 300 minutes a month.

  • EDNYLaw

    This just confirmed what I’ve been saying since VZW started forcing every one into shared data with free text and talk. Sounds good now, but wait until VoLTE when talk and text counts against data. Suddenly that 2GB doesn’t seem so big now does it? So glad I kept my grandfathered unlimited! Well worth paying full retail price for a new device.

    • Jon Gee

      Then again they could give us a higher data cap with no need for voice… NAH! They’re going to find another way to screw customers.

    • zepfloyd

      I thought about this last week. I think we’ll have to change plans if we will want VoLTE when the time comes. That’s how they’ll kill it.

      • EDNYLaw

        I was thinking about that. You’re probably right that it wouldn’t work out of the box. I mean we can do VoLTE now but it’s a huge battery killer. But just like smartphones now require a $30 data plan (or whatever the hell it is now, when I got mine like 4 years ago that’s what it was), they’ll probably say if you want this new smartphone with VoLTE you’ll have to upgrade to this plan. I hate VZW, always finding a new way to screw consumers out of money.

    • bitpimpin

      (see this posted above:)

      From what i understand VoLTE works just like GSM 3G voice (aka UMTS). UMTS has always (or in modern times at least) used data for voice calls (called packet switched calls – aka VOIP) versus the old 2G GSM standard it replaced (called circuit switched voice – just like voice on Verizon’s current CDMA/3g/voice network).

      In these networks, the data packets for the voice calls (as well as SMS) are sent on separate (and/or specifically designated) channels. If I’m not mistaken these “special channels” are just dedicated to VOIP and SMS, or are at the very least prioritized in term of bandwidth and QOS (quality of service) – so you wont hear static cause the guy next you is using up all the cell phone tower’s bandwidth downloading a torrent.

      So long story short… from a technical standpoint, because VoLTE data and LTE data are processed and treated separately, they are usually metered separately as well (that’s why most 3G GSM customers never even knew this has been happening this whole time) – So technically this should NOT count against data allowances.

      The only reason we are hearing about this now, is because all the major US carriers (especially Verizon) have been focusing on setting up a serious LTE data foot print out there 1st before turning on VoLTE.

      And since it is based off of GSM, the LTE standard has always supported and intended to do this. In fact, LTE does not even support traditional voice (circuit switching). That’s why the current crop of “4G LTE” phones sold here in the US are a mix of different bands and mobile technologies, as they are only providing data on 4G, and using their existing legacy systems to fall back upon for voice.

      • EDNYLaw

        So what you’re saying is, VZW will still have traditional minutes and this will just allow for better call quality because of the better bandwidth/speed of LTE as compared to 1x radios? Sounds plausible, I have no idea about the technical details though.

        • http://twitter.com/reggie1225 Reginald Jefferson

          That’s exactly what he’s saying. Just think of LTE as an advanced version of UMTS. Actually don’t think of it like that because it pretty much is that. LTE will operate the way DSL does. A single line that provides both voice and data by separating the channels or frequencies within that line.

          • bitpimpin

            Exactly! And might I say good analogy… I never thought of it like that lol

  • zUFC

    Can someone tell me what the advantages of VoLTE are? I keep hearing about it but don’t know why we want it? Or maybe i just hear about it but it’s not really anything good? thanks in advance. I guess i don’t really know what VOIP is either?

    • zepfloyd

      Good riddance to CDMA is what it means.

    • CapnShiner

      VoLTE is essentially VoIP, but using LTE for the internet connection. Both technologies convert sound into data packets for transmission over a data network. It uses packet switching rather than circuit switching like a traditional phone line. It’s all digital.

      • zUFC

        thanks, but what is good about it for cell phones? Why do we want it. what will it make us do that we can’t now (i guess is what I’m asking). why do i want it? sorry for being an idiot

        • CapnShiner

          It’s good for cellphones because then the phone only needs to have one cellular radio in it, the LTE one. No more CDMA. Fewer radios means less power consumption, which means longer battery life. Eliminating the need to support multiple technologies also means the carrier can simplify their network, meaning lower costs and more efficiency. If all the carriers adopt the technology, it could also mean that an unlocked device could work on any carrier by swapping the SIM card, like in Europe. LTE is based on the GSM standard, which allows for that. VoIP offers superior audio clarity over analog phone lines but cellphones are already digital, so I’m not sure if there is any advantage there. One thing I wonder about, however, is how VoLTE would affect Google Voice, Skype, and the like. VoLTE could mean that everything is considered data and there would no longer be a need to have separate voice and data plans. The carriers could potentially simplify the price plans into tiers of data and just offer much higher limits than they do now to account for the voice data. This would be several years away, though, because there would still be customers with devices that do not support VoLTE and the legacy network would have to be maintained until everyone migrates to new devices with VoLTE.

          • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

            Wouldn’t this also allow for dialing a number for video chat?

  • http://www.facebook.com/YAYSAVERGN Eric James Salcido

    I actually think they have it already in my city, for a few months, at least. That, or maybe some custom ROM I had enabled it. I’ve been able to do this for a while now.

    • CapnShiner

      You are mistaken. VoIP calling via Skype, Google Voice, Etc. is not the same as VoLTE. You might be making calls through your data connection but it’s through a third party and it’s not quite the same protocol as VoLTE.

      • http://www.facebook.com/YAYSAVERGN Eric James Salcido

        I use my mobile phone number given to me from my Verizon, using the native dialing application. I even tested browsing while calling. It works flawlessly on my Galaxy Nexus.

        • cphilano

          That’s not the same at all. You can only do this because the 4G LTE handles your data while cdma handles the call. With VoLTE, LTE would handle everything as data.

  • 2001400ex

    What about current phones? Will you need a new phone or will the current phones like the sIII and razr hd be able to go to volte?

    • Diablo81588

      You will need a new phone. VoLTE has to be supported by the device on a hardware level.

      • 2001400ex

        That’s what I was afraid of. I know some people on here change phones more often than thier underwear, but I am on my thunderbolt with a November upgrade.

        • Dane

          Me too. I raise my glass to you, fellow TBolt sufferer (yet another replacement is in the mail for me today).

          • enigmaco

            At least you guys have 4G I have a out of date droid 3 that got left out to dry.

      • zepfloyd

        That’s what they will tell you, but probably won’t be technically true. Qualcomm’s lastest chipsets are supposed to be capable with new radio firmware.

      • CapnShiner

        Zepfloyd might be right. Newer devices may already have hardware that supports VoLTE but is just not utilized. Older devices probably would need to be replaced, though.

  • zepfloyd

    “”As for VoLTE, it is currently being tested on the network and they are expected to offer the service by the end of 2013.”"

    READ: Or just in time for the iPhone 5S!

    sigh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=75200646 Stephen Cox

    Actually this will be a good thing. Once other carriers get on the VoLTE bandwagon, we’ll start seeing unlocked LTE-only phones that can do all the frequencies and hop around on any network with the switch of a SIM.

    I think then we’ll see the fall of subsidies, phone hardware will sell independent of the carrier, and carriers will become more like dumbpipes… which is the way it should be.

    • CapnShiner

      Yes, and then we can all have pet unicorns and faeries and leprechauns will dance together under the rainbow as we all celebrate the new peace throughout the world. /s

  • Not A Name

    Does this mean that voice will use up data, and that the tiered data will suck even more?

    • Mapekz

      No, because Verizon will treat voice and text over LTE separate from normal data. This sounds great, right? So if I use Verizon voice it’s free but if I use Skype voice it costs me data…wait a minute.

      This is a great place to start arguing for net neutrality and against managed services (VoLTE would be a managed service). Why bother using Skype or any competitor VoIP service if voice can be unlimited via a family share plan? We are already data starved and competitive and disruptive voice and messaging services won’t be able to compete with the carriers’ voice/text especially since those services will compete with the user’s choices when it comes to consuming their precious data.

  • Arlind Emini

    Now if it could only stay on for more than 10% of the day in NYC… cutting in and out from midtown to downtown on GNEX,SGS3, and iPh@ne5…

    • JustTrollin69

      I agree.

  • Mordecaidrake

    I find this so funny. They roll out these god off tiered data plans, now our voice calls will be over LTE, so obviously our data plans are going to be even worse.

    • MikeCiggy

      Well it’s going to give them the chance to make Data Only plans… You wont have to pay that $40 for monthly access to your texting and voice it will just be the $100 for 8 shared gigs.

      Of course this is not going to happen rite away

      • Mordecaidrake

        Of coarse but when they roll them out I suspect people are going to get screwed.

        • chris125

          verizon never does anything that benefits the customer. It’s always about them and nickeling and dimeing you for everything they can get

        • moew

          RIGHT
          COURSE
          spelling.jpg please click that.

      • acras

        you don’t think they will change their plan structure along with the change ? You are dreaming . Why would V give up $40/mo. they’re getting from you . If anything , it will end up costing the consumer more , not less to “upgrade” to VoLTE.

        • MikeCiggy

          The plan structure just changed… If they give me a data only plan im currently paying $40 each for 2 Gnex so $80 then im paying $80 to share 6 gigs.

          If everything goes to data I stop paying the $80 for voice and text and then I upgrade to 10gb of shared data and end up paying a very small amount less then I currently do. It depends on how much data a phone call/text message would use up. That would determine how much data I would have to upgrade.

    • dqw

      Voice is 38mb/hour

      • Mordecaidrake

        That’s pretty significant if you ask me. If Verizon was smart they’d bring back unlimited data and watch all the AT&T users come over to them.

        • Kyle

          HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA… VZW bring back unlimited.

          • Mordecaidrake

            Ya it’s wishful thinking haha

        • http://www.facebook.com/jaxon.wright Jaxon Wright

          like that’ll happen

          • Mordecaidrake

            Ya :(

        • enigmaco

          I still have mine and the day they take it away is the day t-mobile gets my service.

          • Mordecaidrake

            There’s ways to keep it if you have dumphones on your family plan, which I have and plan on using shortly.

          • Jason Lee

            Can you elaborate on this?

          • Mordecaidrake

            Essentially you have the dumb phone use your smartphones upgrade. Then you take the dumb phones smartphone and reactivate the dumbphone which will in turn cancel the dump phones data plan. Bam, your upgrade is used on another line, but you get the phone and the data plan is canceled So you’re in the clear, and it can be used over and over until Verizon takes away upgrade swapping, which I’m sure they wont.

          • enigmaco

            We have five lines and two smartphones on it I have talked to numerous reps. Only thing that is saving our butts right now from switching to the new plan is it will raise our bill by $30 a month.

          • http://twitter.com/AdrianaEWhite1 Adriana E. White

            You wont have to pay that $40 for monthly access to your texting and voice it will just be the $100 for 8 shared gigs. ..NDOQESB.tk

          • enigmaco

            I have talked to about 6 reps about it, and all of them have told me that if we switch our family plan to the new share plan that our plan would go up. It would be different if I was getting different answers, but I have numerous people give me the same answer I have to go with that.

          • ben7337

            Same here, but tmobile is only 3g and 2g by me, so really hoping verizon lets me keep unlimited until tmobile and sprint can get 4g lte rolled out in my area. If sprint gets lte to me and it is decent then that makes a good case for the new voyager mobile.

          • enigmaco

            I have 4G here, they have had here since they first started rolling it out so it should be pretty good coverage, and since I don’t travel much not too worried about coverage.

          • Zachary Manville

            Tmobile has service? Where?

          • enigmaco

            In Columbus and I just checked their service coverage to the areas that I travel, and according to their map the coverage is pretty strong. Looks like they have received that spectrum from at&t already.

        • Daniel Maginnis

          yes, please bring back unlimited and watch att users flood the network and bog down performance and network stability. please. i would love it.

      • Paul

        That would mean I’d use up 38MB per month lol

        • michael arazan

          unless they also cancel nights and weekends free too, how could they give you free nights and weekends over data? They won’t, 10-1 saya they cancel free calls after 9 and weekends!

          • Paul

            No, because I’m with my friends on nights and weekends rather than spending hours just talking on the phone…

    • antinorm

      It shouldn’t be hard to differentiate between voice and IP data. Data going to a certain IP on a certain port = VoLTE, everything else = data.

      • https://plus.google.com/114483312559013915960/ Timoh

        The only way they would differentiate is if they charged more for VoLTE service than data. Like “tethering” and how they differentiate that from normal data usage.

        IE 2gb of data, $20 a month. 500 minutes of VoLTE, $30 a month. The general consumer is so stupid they wouldn’t know they were being screwed.

    • George264

      I’m pretty sure by the time the end of 2013 ends, Verizon’s 4G will be as good as its 3G or better, and they will drop the 3G radio all together in your phone and just use 4G LTE instead of CDMA for your calls, therefore, LTE calls don’t count toward your data, like how CDMA calling doesn’t count toward your data

      • Mordecaidrake

        Yes but how will they differentiate what data is their phone calls?

        • George264

          How do they differentiate which CDMA data and which is call? Idk, but if they could do that with 3G, they could do it with 4G.

          • 640k

            You don’t. VoIP phones will likely be restricted to VoIP actions ONLY. NO backward compatibility. It will be vzws effort to shut down 3g

          • George264

            I don’t see how that is relevant. CDMA calls are using 3G if I’m not an idiot. So LTE calls will be using 4G? So they would separate both the same way.

          • 640k

            Easy. They eliminate the radio. The technology for VoIP is different than CDMA over 4g. Check wiki on what LTE actually is.

          • antinorm

            CDMA voice calls are still routed over their old 1xRTT (2G) network, even if you’re in a 4G market. This brings up another point — namely, that when they retire their old 2G/3G network, that will open up a ton of spectrum that they will hopefully use to bolster their 4G network.

          • George264

            Oh ok. Thanks. I was under the impression both were processed the same way.

          • moew

            They have DPI boxes that can tell what is what. Always have, always will.

        • http://www.twitter.com/helmes/ Henry

          Its built into the VoLTE spec. It is just a service that sits on top of the IP Multimedia Subsystem.

        • chris125

          probably the same way they do for sms/mms messages

    • bitpimpin

      see my other comment below:

      From what i understand VoLTE works just like GSM 3G voice (aka UMTS). UMTS has always (or in modern times at least) used data for voice calls (called packet switched calls – aka VOIP) versus the old 2G GSM standard it replaced (called circuit switched voice – just like voice on Verizon’s current CDMA/3g/voice network).
      In these networks, the data packets for the voice calls (as well as SMS) are sent on separate (and/or specifically designated) channels. If I’m not mistaken these “special channels” are just dedicated to VOIP and SMS, or are at the very least prioritized in term of bandwidth and QOS (quality of service) – so you wont hear static cause the guy next you is using up all the cell phone tower’s bandwidth downloading a torrent.
      So long story short… from a technical standpoint, because VoLTE data and LTE data are processed and treated separately, they are usually metered separately as well (that’s why most 3G GSM customers never even knew this has been happening this whole time) – So technically this should NOT count against data allowances.

      The only reason we are hearing about this now, is because all the major US carriers (especially Verizon) have been focusing on setting up a serious LTE data foot print out there 1st before turning on VoLTE.
      And since it is based off of GSM, the LTE standard has always supported and intended to do this. In fact, LTE does not even support traditional voice (circuit switching). That’s why the current crop of “4G LTE” phones sold here in the US are a mix of different bands and mobile technologies, as they are only providing data on 4G, and using their existing legacy systems to fall back upon for voice.

      • Mordecaidrake

        Thanks for the explanation, I figured it would be some sort of port forwarding or tunneling that would show which is VoLTE and what’s normal data usage.

  • http://twitter.com/jasenmaster Jasen Master

    I hit 45 mbps over LTE last weekend in Pismo Beach on my new S3. I was completely blown away by the speeds. GO VZW!

    • gregwilliams

      that means you’ll be able to talk as fast as busta rhymes once VoLTE rolls out

      • http://twitter.com/jasenmaster Jasen Master

        This made me laugh. I’ll never be THAT fast!

  • enigmaco

    Curious how many others way they can find to screw their customers while expanding in the process.

    • chris125

      Agree, I am sure they will find something else to charge for with VoLTE

      • https://plus.google.com/114483312559013915960/ Timoh

        No need to find another charge, they already got people off unlimited data. It’s all in the bank now.

        • Big_EZ

          And the unlimited talk and text they used to get average families on the share plans will be pointless because within about ayear that will go against their data.

    • Paul

      It’s not cheap to expand their network like this. If you don’t like it, switch to a network that’s not as big.

      • enigmaco

        Already been thinking about it

        • Paul

          Which is fair enough. I just think it’s silly that people act like it’s the only carrier and they have no other option for a new phone and contract. (Not you in particular)

          • enigmaco

            I live a good size metropolitan area, so I have many choices to choose from. The only reason I am on Verizon is because of my girlfriend. I had t-mobile before I switched and I was satisfied with them, that is who I might go back if I do decide to switch.

          • vzwuser76

            For some of us, that is the case. Not everyone has multiple choices in carriers. If I were 30 miles north or south, I would have one more choice. After that I’d have to go around 200 miles for a third choice, and that’s it. Be lucky that you have choices, not only in your cell carrier, but I bet you have multiple landline, internet, and tv providers. Here it’s Verizon for cell, local telco for landline & internet, and a choice of DirecTV or Dish for tv. Also only one choice for electricity and water as well.

            The problem is that when Verizon or AT&T does something, the other matches it. It’s almost a passive form of price fixing. Sprint & T-Mobile don’t necessarily follow because they need to draw customers from the Big Two. You can bet that if they each had an equal amount of customers,they’d follow suit. So for many your only choice is weatherbys or not to have cell service.

  • KleenDroid

    I live for this