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Verizon’s First LTE-Only Phones to Launch Late Next Year, Along With VoLTE

verizon logo 4g lte

Verizon’s completion of their 4G LTE rollout means big things for next year’s roadmap, according to a recent discussion with the carrier’s Chief Network Operator, Nicki Palmer. Shooting for a time frame of late 2014, Verizon intends to launch its first line of LTE-only devices, capable of handling simultaneous voice and data through a single radio, something that Verizon’s users have been without for some time. 

In order to make this transition smooth for customers, Verizon is working “very aggressively” on their VoLTE capabilities and should be ready for its launch across their entire network around the same time that LTE-only devices are ready to ship. Unlike the rollout of 4G LTE across America, the launch of VoLTE will be instantaneous across the entire network with the flip of a single switch.

We will get this right. Our brand is built on reliability. We will want to go big with this.

As for all of the hype surrounding LTE-Advanced, Verizon also made it quite clear that they will be a leader in that field as well, although they do seem to have a bit more realistic grasp on what LTE-A would entail for customers. For Big Red, LTE-Advanced would mean more of a “collection of enhancements, features, and standards” at first. In the long run, they will be “aggressive” at looking into the network upgrade.

This is what we have all been waiting for, yes?


  • dgarra

    What a truly terrible idea.

  • Edward Smith

    As much as some of us despise Verizon Wireless’s business decisions that box us in an see no advantage to them allowing device interoperability it would allow others to come to Verizon with zero fuss.
    For some people, and Verizon as business philosophy, all that matters is network quality.
    Verizon Wireless may suck on many, many things but they have the best coverage and overall throughput for end users; some would like to be ABLE to go over their data limit on their slow network phones.

  • phxman75

    Seeing as Phoenix is supposed to be one of the places with amazing LTE, and yet even living just down the street from a tower, I still often switch to 3G, I just don’t see this happening.

    • F22

      I live in the Phoenix metro area, and I have great 4G reception pretty much everywhere I go.

      • phxman75

        I don’t know why it drops on me at home – I’m pretty much in the middle of town. But try going out to Surprise around Luke or Carefree/Cave Creek and just plain good luck. Not to mention the horrible thought of breaking down somewhere between Phoenix and Flagstaff or Prescott with nothing but 1x service around.

      • phxman75

        PS – I know I’m an unusual case because I am pretty much every corner of the city, no matter how far flung, on a regular basis, but my point is that I still don’t see how they plan to be ready for LTE only by next year.

  • Nathaniel Newman

    As far as LTE ONLY devices. It will probably be like with VZW started making Digital ONLY cellphones. In my area I needed a TriMode phone with Analog support. So same with this too. Combo phones will STILL be a must for a long while. I have more than a few areas in rural TN that is 3g or even 1X only connection. Until those 1X areas are LTE then it wouldn’t be a wise move.

  • Nathaniel Newman

    Wonder if VoLTE will run on the current crop of LTE enabled devices?

  • Bob G

    So with full LTE phones, does that mean there is no backup network to fall back on should you not get LTE reception? This sounds like a terrible plan.

  • partyblind

    Does this mean that Google will be able to sell VoLTE phones through the Play store like they do currently with GSM phones?

  • duke69111

    I’m worried about LTE only phones. My neck of the woods, eastern half of Kansas, LTE is still very scattered and unreliable.

  • SewWhat

    Guess this will be the end of my service on Verizon.. I live in one of the few places in NC that Verizon doesn’t have service. It’s all provided by extended network(x1 and 3g) due to our local telephone co-op buying up ALL the FCC communication rights and they wont allow Verizon to set up shop. If it weren’t for having such great service at work I’d have dropped them a while back.

    • hokiesteve

      I would imagine that Verizon will eventually cover that area. They do have a nationwide 700Mhz license afterall.

  • shecalledmejay

    Better come with a bigger or better battery.

    • Kiril Vatev

      Not necessarily. LTE doesn’t specifically kill battery. Rather, it’s the fact that our Verizon phones have both 3G and LTE radios running at the same time.

  • Castortroy

    Dont care…Verizon I want the HTC One

    • bkosh84

      You want it MEOW! 🙂

  • Jake

    This is how they’ll force customers who are in grandfathered unlimited data plans to switch to a tiered plan. When they added LTE to their lineup, you had to switch from a 3G plan to a 4G plan, even though both plans were identical in terms of price and everything else. When they switch to LTE-only phones with VoLTE they’ll say that you have to sign up for a VoLTE plan, because the old 3G plans are no longer available. When you do switch, you’ll have to give up your unlimited data plan.

    • Mike

      It’s possible, but it will more than likely be only for those wanting subsidies

  • TourGuide

    All this means to me is that at my house I won’t be able to get voice OR data through Verizon. I live in the middle of a network black hole. Verizon has been told about it but have done nothing to fix the problem.

  • bionicwaffle

    Oh man, I’m not looking forward to this. It’s been a while but the last test I saw showed that LTE uses a lot more power for voice than cdma. If it kills my battery, I want cdma.

    • JoshGroff

      The CDMA radio also uses a lot more power just being on and holding a connection. The benefits of having just one radio on will definitely outweigh the extra power draw for voice.

    • Nathaniel Newman

      Simple to find out. Put your phone in LTE mode only (use Phone Info). You won’t get calls but you can test and see how the battery holds up for a day. Use google voice or something. But that should power off the CDMA radio.

  • br_hermon

    Any predictions on what this will do to service plans? Voice and Texting will all be done via data, correct? No more unlimited texts or minutes, JUST data. Wonder what new pricing model this will result in.

    • kendokan

      For the purposes of pricing voice and data will probably still be separate. I don’t know why everyone seems to think that just because voice will utilize the data radio that it has anything to do with how things are priced. VZ certainly has the capability to differentiate between voice usage and Internet usage regardless.

  • Blue Sun

    I’m sure this phone will perform well when traveling internationally & in rural areas… /s

    • DanSan

      I’m sure this service will perform well when using a tiered data plan… /s

      • Hoping that I will be able to buy a New Nexus 4 LTE-A from Google Play in a year or two and merely add it onto my existing Unlimited 4G plan w/ Verizon

  • chris125

    They want to go big. As in their pricing and further screw their customers.

  • Stephen

    so what happens when you’re in an area with no lte, but you can get 3g/1x? you’re essentially SOL, correct? Until they have every single area that has 3g covered with lte, this would not work. If you’ve ever been on the highway in some areas of new jersey and a lot of pennsylvania, you would know.

    • Robert Macri

      or in a building… my work I can get 3g but no 4g.

      • Stephen

        I know how that feels.

    • I think they are planning to make it so you would also get 4G there, lest they risk losing their killer feature… call reliability.

      • Stephen

        I know what you mean. But for example, certain areas of pennsylvania, i get basically no service, except for barely 3g/1x. So that means, there isn’t a tower close enough for me to get signal (outside). So they would have to put up more towers

  • EC8CH

    So are they going to try an incentivize people to upgrade from their CDMA devices then so they can shut down that network?

    • Bobby Buttons

      Verizon, incentivize… The only thing those words have to do with each other are some common letters.

      • EC8CH

        Verizon incentive… Upgrade your old and busted phone or we’re adding a $10 per month CDMA service fee. BAM!

    • Weber

      Oooo, this would be a good thing. For just about everyone.

  • yoMAMMA

    welcome back Nexus 6 to VZW!!!

  • master94

    I still get 3G more than I get 4G while in NYC. I wonder what it will mean for me.

    • Jason Kahn

      Absolutely the same problem I have, All along 35th and 36th street are complete LTE dead spots for me. In my building on Madison I get 4G only if I’m near the windows, and what signal I do get is so slow, even streaming music involves a lot of buffering.

  • jnt

    “capable of handling simultaneous voice and data through a single radio, something that Verizon’s users have been without for some time” – i.e. forever! 🙂

    • Scannerman

      Wrong, Those of us who have the HTC Thunderbolt or Galaxy S3 and S4 have had this all along.

      • jnt

        Not through a single radio you haven’t. The reason all of the phones with that Qualcomm chipset (and the latest one in the Razr lineup) were able to do that (except for the Razr M – no idea why Moto disabled that), is because of dual transceiver setup in the qualcomm chipset.

      • jnt

        And for what it’s worth, the S4 doesn’t have true SVDO. Go into a 3G area and get on a phone call and you’ll lose your data connection. It simply has SVLTE.

      • jnt

        Not through a single radio you haven’t. The way Verizon (Qualcomm) made SVDO work was through a dual transceiver setup on their chipset. All of the qualcomm chipsets up until the S4 on Verizon (except for the Razr M – for some reason they didn’t allow it despite having the same exact setup as the HD and Maxx HD) could do SVDO because of this. The S4 can’t actually do true SVDO, it only has SVLTE.



        And I apologize if I repeat myself – I had a reply submitted and my browser crashed and when I came back it was gone.

        • Nathaniel Newman

          The Maxx HD supports the 3G/CDMA data bridge. Where data AND voice can run on 3G ALONE. I use it all the time. However the Bionic I have seems to use older LTE/CDMA radios and doesn’t support the 3G bridge.

          • jnt

            Right – the HD and Maxx HD both have the newer (than the Tbolt) qualcomm chipsets – similar to the Galaxy S3’s. The M has the exact same one, but someone decided not to allow it on the M. Before those, Moto used TI for their chips (Bionic and original Razr / Maxx), and HTC was the only one using Qualcomm – which is why the Tbolt, then Rezound were the only ones that could do it back then.

  • EC8CH


    • Fiorta


    • jnt

      I get this, but at the same time, it still works in my office building when my AT&T co-workers struggle to get more than Edge and sometimes have to walk out just for a decent call.

      • Trevor

        I’d take Edge over Verizon’s crap CDMA anyday. But not being able to make a call at all is another story.

  • mcdonsco

    Ok, I get that it’s voice and data through a single radio, fine…but whats the big deal here? This post seems to suggest VZW users have not been able to surf while talking yet; but I’ve been doing that on VZW since the thunderbolt…what am I missing of significance? That now what we’ve been able to do for years will now be handled through a single radio instead? Why would I care?

    I must be missing something…

    And by the way, I would NOT want an LTE only phone on Verizon, to this day my phone (Note 2) still uses 3g a LOT in the boonies; this would just make the phone go to no signal at all instead? No thanks.

    • Fiorta

      It means that you wouldn’t switch to 3G in the boonies. Since 4G will cover 100% of their network, being on a single radio, you wouldn’t drop 4G.

      Also, one radio = better battery

      • mcdonsco

        Ok, but if the claim that their 4g network now covers all areas that 3g previously covered (and thus, no need for 3g any longer?) were true, then I wouldn’t switch to 3g in the boonies; right? Yet, I do…?

        • Voltism

          That’s why they are rolling it out next year…

        • She_Beast

          Are they saying that their LTE covers 99% of the area their 3G network covers, or that it covers 99% of the customers their 3G network covers? Could be a small technical difference?

          • Tyler Bowden

            I think it’s safe to assume they mean population. There are still large 3G only areas where I live.

      • timrcm

        While true, I’m still a big fan of having a fallback network. Verizon’s LTE doesn’t penetrate building very well. If I have my phone in my pocket or in our back room, it drops to 3G from time to time at home. I’d rather it do that then drop service entirely and result in lost calls.

        • She_Beast

          But the kid from Moonrise Kingdom said it is amazing indoors or outdoors…

    • MooseCat

      The T-bolt was an odd-ball case and had a Frankenstein radio which allowed this to happen. But, typically, Verizon phones are not able to simultaneously do voice and data at the same time while on 3G (assuming you’re not using WI-FI).

      • DJ SPY

        I use a Droid RAZR Maxx HD and if I go into the secret phone menu and switch to CDMA Auto (3G only) I can still surf the web and make calls at the same time.

    • Joe

      You have to think about the amount of LTE-coverage late 2014 though, I don’t think you should base it off of the LTE your getting now. At the rate verizon expands their LTE network, we should be good for LTE-only by the end of next year.

    • 1) Better battery
      2) More 4G coverage since they don’t want to lose their reputation for call quaity
      3) Better call quality (VOIP, aka VoLTE)
      4) Better choice of phones since I believe Verizon are REQUIRED to accept LTE phones onto their network by the FCC (they are not currently required to accept outside phones because CDMA is proprietary) So, I BELIEVE that means that we could see LTE phones on Google Play that we can activate on Verizon LTE. Crossing my fingers, this would mean unlimited DATA for me for the forseeable future, and much better phones— can anyone say New Nexus 4?

      • xgshortbus25

        You know with VoLTE they will make every new phone added to their network chose a new data plan right? This is Verizon’s push to get rid of all the “Unlimited plans.” Also they are supposed to flip the switch 4th quarter this year or 1st next year. Phones starting 1st – 2nd quarter depending on flip.

  • Stephen Cox

    Now all we need is the other carries to go VoLTE and the chip manufacturers to produce multi-band LTE chips.

    THEN… FINALLY… we can have true universal phones on any provider.

    (But we all know VZW will find a way to keep this from happening, of course.)

    • Bobby Buttons

      Of course. How else will they enforce their prolonged update process that still puts out unstable builds and refuse to carry phones that don’t permanently embed their garbage apps?

    • EC8CH

      That makes entirely too much sense to ever happen in the US wireless industry.

  • I think they could have come up with a better sound bite than “We will get this right. Out brand is built on reliability. We will want to go big with this.”

    I would have gone with:

    Welcome to the future bitches!

  • Jeff C

    o verizon, you treat me so well….except for phone selection.

    • Matt Laney

      Nobody else has (or wants) the g’zOne commando. You should feel lucky.

      • Charlie

        My work is primarily outdoors, and I’ve got co-workers that are going to pick up their Commandos tonight after work. They are pretty excited. So, even though the specs aren’t the greatest, there is definitely a market for it.

  • DroidzFX

    I am curious what they will do with plans with limited data? Make them cheaper since now your voice calls cost data.

    • coolsilver

      Calls already use data but still based on a digital RF to VOIP conversion at the back end.

  • Man, “Late Next Year” sounds soooooo far away!

    Thanks to my Android/technology addiction, even “late next quarter” sounds far away now.

    Geepers…I need to get out and enjoy the sunshine more and just let these things come as they will and surprise me like the rest of the world when they do 🙂

    • Tyler Durden

      No. The sun sucks. I do enjoy a good sandwich from mom every once and a while.

      • Edward Smith

        The evil day star! It burnes my skin!

    • monkey082506

      On that same note, I thoroughly enjoy being “that guy” that knows about the newest and greatest before it is “new and great”.

      • TSY87

        #nerdhipster same here…

    • michael arazan

      I’m Irish, putting an irishman in the sun is like putting a fork in the microwave, all you get is a lot of sparks and pain

  • Jared Tau

    Maybe a Nexus device???

    • Not a chance in hell…

      • Jared Tau

        Why not? Without a CDMA radio there should be no issue with the timeliness of updates.

        • Blue Sun

          This is Verizon… Where have you been the last 3 years?

          • Stevedub40

            You mean 15 years.

        • Whitelists son… Until Verizon re-thinks their policies, there will not be another true Nexus device.

          • Tyler Bowden

            I thought LTE was based off GSM, meaning no white lists.

      • Matt Laney

        The government will require an unlocked network on volte. It’s basically a super gsm network and thus free of Verizon’s CDMA lockdown. I’ve seen several articles stating this. And everything you read on the Internet is the truth, right?

        • EC8CH

          And Verizon can’t block Google Wallet.

          I want to believe what you say is true, but you’d have to think Verizon has some plan to retain their iron fisted control over devices.

        • Weber

          Uh, bonjour.

        • Can you give some sources about the government disallowing whitelists on VoLTE? I would be interested in reading up on this.

    • LiterofCola


      • EC8CH

        I can understand a personal ambivalence to nexus phones from a design standpoint, but you honestly have to agree expanding that consumer friendly sales model to a broader US market would be a big deal.

        • LiterofCola

          The thing is it could stand a chance to be a hot seller (minus the looks) if it had LTE. Nowadays, a majority of people find that as a requirement for a mobile phone option.

          • EC8CH

            Yes, well if VOLTE is what enables a Nexus device to be available on VZW it by definition would have LTE.

          • LiterofCola

            Then yead I’d agree with you in that instance when VoLTE actually comes into play

  • coolsilver

    VoLTE, flip the gateways on. LTE-A? Add a couple cards to towers to existing rack and connect the fiber

  • sc0rch3d

    it’s good to see a company “leading the way” in the next gen networks. hopefully all these guys can agree on a single standard soon.