First VoLTE call made on live LTE infrastructure

The International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC) has completed what it says is the first ever voice over LTE (VoLTE) test on a live LTE infrastructure. The test, which took place at the SuperOp annual telecoms testing event in Hawaii, involved key industry players Ericsson, Huawei, Samsung, Intel Mobile and ST Ericsson, among others.

The VoLTE testing included voice call establishment, connectivity to legacy services and supplementary services such as three-way conferencing. LTE enhanced radio access (eNB), evolved packet core (EPC) and IMS kit came courtesy of Huawei.

Voice over LTE has become something of a Holy Grail for the telecoms industry; despite the explosion in data services and the revenue opportunities that come with them, Ovum research indicates that voice will generate 64 per cent of operator revenues through 2015. Because LTE is all-IP, operators have been faced with the challenge of bridging the gap between their network evolution strategies and current 2/3G realities.

Given that we’re some years away from anything like blanket LTE coverage, roaming and parallel network maintenance will be the name of the game for many carriers, using LTE for data and legacy networks for voice on a circuit-switched fallback (CSFB)/single radio voice call continuity (SRVCC) basis.

With many operators continuing to view voice as a 2/3G play, this latest development in the VoLTE space could represent a significant step forward for carriers. More VoLTE testing is scheduled to take place this year, organised by a variety of industry bodies, including the IMTC, MultiService Forum (MSF) and European Telecoms Standards Institute (ETSI).


  1. Avatar Paul Allen 10/06/2011 @ 9:09 am

    Woo hooo!! This is exciting stuff. Most people who will read this post don’t realise the potential that this will offer. It definately bridges the gap from the long service 2/3g networks.

  2. Avatar Chris Goswami 10/06/2011 @ 10:54 am

    Technically this is wonderful news. However lets get our heads out of the sand. Telling the guy on the street that 4G technology finally allows you to make VOICE CALLS – is likely to get us some curious stares.

  3. Avatar Dan Warren 10/06/2011 @ 2:19 pm

    If you were in Barcelona when Verizon, LG and GSMA demo’ed VoLTE, I was pitching it as ‘the dullest demo of the show’ becuase hey, you punch in some numbers and press the green button. But at the rawest level, that is kind of the point. The person in the street will be sold on the marketting of ‘4G’ for a bunch of stuff other than voice, but would they buy a phone that didn’t make voice calls? The fun starts when the voice calls become part of something bigger, and that is ultimately what VoLTE is going to be all about.

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