Are the stars finally aligning for VoLTE? As the industry seems to be moving en mass to support the technology with a flurry of announcements from around the world such as Singtel, Bouygues, Algérie Télécom, NTT DoComo and Verizon and T-Mobile, reports suggest that Apple will add support for VoLTE as part of iOS8.

There’s seems to be some debate as to whether the current iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s can support VoLTE, but the Qualcomm MDM9615M chipset used by these phones, and indeed the iPhone 5 do support it.

I would not be surprised to find that once iOS8 launches, VoLTE will be supported on all Apple devices running the OS and a supporting chipset.

VoLTE should be the first step in enabling operators to lower cost per bit. Once 4G IP-only networks are ubiquitous it will be possible to either retire legacy 3G networks or refarm their valuable spectrum for 4G. Clearly no one is suggesting this will happen overnight—far from it—but enabling VoLTE is surely the first step.

For the end user, the main benefit should be better quality calls, with HD Voice normally part and parcel of the technology. Of course, Apple is only part of the eco-system, but it is a large and influential chunk.

Other than VoLTE, it remains to be seen if there will be any major changes that will be of major significance to operators.

Apple’s WWDC event takes place on Monday at 1pm ET time/10am PT, 5pm GMT in the US.

LTE Voice 2014



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