Category Archives: 4g

iOS 8 supports voice over Wi-Fi, but what about voice over LTE?

One of the nuggets to come out of Apple’s iOS 8 launch was the iPhone’s upcoming support for Wi-Fi calling. It’s a feature that not only will let consumers take advantage of carriers’ voice-over-Wi-Fi service, but is also the first step toward voice over LTE (VoLTE), which will put all mobile communications on IP networks.

The feature showed up as a mere bullet point in a long list of iOS 8’s new capabilities shown on screen at WWDC 2014, but T-Mobile immediately jumped, announcing it would bring its voice-over-Wi-Fi service to the iPhone when the new operating system becomes publicly available this fall. We’ll probably see a similar announcement shortly from Sprint and other global carriers offering Wi-Fi calling.

While there are plenty of apps that will let you make phone calls over the iPhone’s data connection, it’s been very difficult to make those services work with the iPhone’s main dialer. That’s why T-Mobile has been integrating Wi-Fi calling directly into its Android and Windows phones for years, but on iOS it has been forced to go over-the-top. For a while T-Mobile offered a separate VoIP calling app for iOS called Bobsled.

Image: Shutterstock / Sputanski

Image: Shutterstock / Sputanski

Over the years carrier Wi-Fi calling services have shrunk in importance since most voice plans have moved over to unlimited buckets, though for people living or working in a dodgy coverage zone or international travelers, those calling features are still a godsend. But VoLTE is a just a hop away and it could have a much more substantial impact on consumers and business users.

AT&T and T-Mobile rolled out their first VoLTE services last month, though right now they’re limited to a handful of Android phones and cities. Both carriers are offering HD voice, but VoLTE promises a lot more than just higher-quality phone calls. Verizon has said it will launch VoLTE nationwide this year with integrated video calling, which could compete directly with Apple’s Facetime.

A host of other features like presence, instant messaging and integration with enterprise phone networks are other possibilities. While you get many of those services through third-party apps, VoLTE would integrate them directly into the dialer and attach them to your phone number.

I reached out to Apple about whether VoLTE support would be available on iOS but haven’t heard back yet. In its most basic form, VoLTE isn’t much different than Voice over Wi-Fi. It’s another IP connection, though carriers will be able prioritize voice and video calling traffic over their own 4G networks.

wwdc-ticker

Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:
Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.

iOS 8 supports voice over Wi-Fi, but what about voice over LTE?

One of the nuggets to come out of Apple’s iOS 8 launch was the iPhone’s upcoming support for Wi-Fi calling. It’s a feature that not only will let consumers take advantage of carriers’ voice-over-Wi-Fi service, but is also the first step toward voice over LTE (VoLTE), which will put all mobile communications on IP networks.

The feature showed up as a mere bullet point in a long list of iOS 8’s new capabilities shown on screen at WWDC 2014, but T-Mobile immediately jumped, announcing it would bring its voice-over-Wi-Fi service to the iPhone when the new operating system becomes publicly available this fall. We’ll probably see a similar announcement shortly from Sprint and other global carriers offering Wi-Fi calling.

While there are plenty of apps that will let you make phone calls over the iPhone’s data connection, it’s been very difficult to make those services work with the iPhone’s main dialer. That’s why T-Mobile has been integrating Wi-Fi calling directly into its Android and Windows phones for years, but on iOS it has been forced to go over-the-top. For a while T-Mobile offered a separate VoIP calling app for iOS called Bobsled.

Image: Shutterstock / Sputanski

Image: Shutterstock / Sputanski

Over the years carrier Wi-Fi calling services have shrunk in importance since most voice plans have moved over to unlimited buckets, though for people living or working in a dodgy coverage zone or international travelers, those calling features are still a godsend. But VoLTE is a just a hop away and it could have a much more substantial impact on consumers and business users.

AT&T and T-Mobile rolled out their first VoLTE services last month, though right now they’re limited to a handful of Android phones and cities. Both carriers are offering HD voice, but VoLTE promises a lot more than just higher-quality phone calls. Verizon has said it will launch VoLTE nationwide this year with integrated video calling, which could compete directly with Apple’s Facetime.

A host of other features like presence, instant messaging and integration with enterprise phone networks are other possibilities. While you get many of those services through third-party apps, VoLTE would integrate them directly into the dialer and attach them to your phone number.

I reached out to Apple about whether VoLTE support would be available on iOS but haven’t heard back yet. In its most basic form, VoLTE isn’t much different than Voice over Wi-Fi. It’s another IP connection, though carriers will be able prioritize voice and video calling traffic over their own 4G networks.

wwdc-ticker

Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:
Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.

AT&T announces rollout of voice-over-LTE ahead of likely iPhone 6/iOS 8 integration this fall

United States-based carrier AT&T today officially announced its rollout of voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) calls. The VoLTE rollout comes in tandem with AT&T HD Voice launch, which provides better sounding phone calls. Starting on May 23rd, IllinoisIndianaMinnesota and Wisconsin will be the initially supported markets for these features, but AT&T says to expect a more complete rollout as time goes on:

Beginning May 23, AT&Ti is introducing High Definition (HD) Voiceii on an all-IP, Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) network in select markets. At AT&T, you won’t have to choose between faster data speeds and crystal clear conversations. HD Voice customers can simultaneously talk while surfing the Web at 4G LTE speeds, all on the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE networkiii – it’s the best of both worlds.

AT&T touts the features as being supported by Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Mini, but some of Apple’s products should also be able to support HD Voice. Back in 2012, Apple announced that the iPhone 5 would have HD Voice calling on supported carriers, so it is likely that iPhone users in the AT&T/HD-Voice-supported markets will be able to get better sounding calls. But what about voice-over-LTE support?

While the iPhone’s chipset can support calling over LTE, the iOS software does not actually have the ability to make calls over LTE networks. According to people briefed on Apple’s plans, this may change this fall with iOS 8 and the iPhone 6. As we reported a few weeks ago:

Another significant addition being considered for iOS 8 and the next-generation iPhone is voice-over-LTE support (VoLTE), according to carrier sources. Currently, when an LTE-capable iPhone needs to make a phone call, the actual call is placed over last generation networks such as 3G. With VoLTE, calls will be transmitted over the same type of network that LTE data is processed through, and this can allow for benefits such as improved call quality.

Of course, carrier support is needed for this functionality, and some countries around the world have carriers that have already rolled out support for VoLTE. For those in the United States, T-Mobile’s network (thanks to its agreement with Metro PCS) supports VoLTE while Verizon Wireless and AT&T are actively testing the functionality for a rollout later this year. Of course, it’s plausible that iOS 8 support for VoLTE will be pushed back if enough carriers are unable to meet the rollout timeframe.

Besides AT&T, major Japanese carrier (and close Apple partner) DoCoMo announced that it will begin supporting voice-over-LTE calling in June. As for other U.S. carriers, Verizon Wireless is actively testing voice-over-LTE functionality, and T-Mobile already supports it. T-Mobile also supports HD Voice functionality for the iPhone, as does Sprint, while the other major U.S. carriers are also actively testing support.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: 4G, Apple, AT&T, iPhone, LTE, United States, Verizon Wireless, Wideband audio

For more information about AAPL Company, Apple, and iPhone continue reading at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "AT&T announces rollout of voice-over-LTE ahead of likely iPhone 6/iOS 8 integration this fall" with our community.

Save Big With The FreedomPop Samsung Galaxy SII Phone Bundle [Deals]

The Samsung Galaxy SII might not be the hottest phone on the market right now, but it still has a 1.2 GHz Dual Core processor, crisp 4.52″ screen, and dual cameras packed into an elegant design. And you can get






China Mobile adds 1.34 million users, led by Apple’s iPhone

China Mobile just posted its first profit decline in years, but Apple is not to blame. Of the carrier’s million-plus new mobile subscribers in February, about one million of them are iPhone users, reports The Wall Street Journal.

“We added 1.34 million new 4G users in February and most of them are iPhone users. We are happy with the progress as we are still building our 4G network and the coverage is only available in some major cities,” China Mobile Chairman Xi Gouhua told the Journal.

That’s certainly not bad news for Apple, but it’s a little lower than expected. Some analysts were anticipating yearly sales as high as 17 million units, which doesn’t look likely to happen at this point.

These lower-than-expected sales aren’t entirely surprising. After all, China’s “4G” network is still in its infancy, and the iPhone is an expensive device. It’s still possible for sales to pick up in the future, though, especially as 4G access spreads, and Apple’s access to the carrier’s 760 million subscribers is only a good thing.

Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:
Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.

China Mobile sold over 1M iPhones last month, chairman non-committal about the numbers

A man holds a new Apple iPhone 5S next to his iPhone 5 at an Apple Store at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district

Photo: readwrite.com

China Mobile announced that it sold 1.34M 4G handsets in February and that “most of them” were iPhones. China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua was relatively non-committal on the numbers.

It’s just been getting started for one or two months. So far it’s hard to tell how that will affect our business [...]

We are happy with the progress as we are still building our 4G network and the coverage is only available in some major cities.

Analyst estimates of likely sales had varied widely. Most had predicted at least 15-17M sales a year in China as a whole, however, suggesting that 1M in a month on what is by far the country’s largest carrier may be somewhat lower than anticipated … 

There was, however, no reaction from the market in pre-market trading in AAPL, the 0.27 percent dip in the stock price well within normal variation.

China Mobile reported its first annual drop in profits in 14 years, which has been attributed to a mix of infrastructure investment in 4G, loss of SMS revenue from other messaging services and handset subsidies to meet fierce price competition from other outlets. The company is hoping that data revenues from iPhone users will help drive profitability through the year.

Analytics data suggests that the iPhone 5S has around a 12 percent share of iOS devices in China, while the 5c has just two percent – older iPhones and iPads making up the balance.

Morgan Stanley yesterday said that it expected Apple to announce worldwide Q2 sales of 42M, a 4.5M year-on-year rise.

Via the WSJ and Reuters


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: 4G, Apple, Beijing, china, China Mobile, iPad, iPhone, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPhone China, iPhone numbers in China, iPhone sales in China, Morgan Stanley

For more information about AAPL Company, iOS Devices, and Apple continue reading at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "China Mobile sold over 1M iPhones last month, chairman non-committal about the numbers" with our community.