LTE to cover 300 million POPs by end of 2014, LTE Advanced just a software upgrade away
AT&T expects that the holiday season may be the right time to launch its first device capable of using VoLTE. According to statements made by Krish Prabhu, president of AT&T Labs, the carrier expects that it can have a "VoLTE-compliant device" ready by the end of the year.
He went on to say that the carrier is working on the network side of VoLTE upgrades to enable the use of the new voice technology. Once completed, the move to VoLTE will enable HD voice calls as long as both parties are using a VoLTE device. Unfortunately those upgrades may take some time — AT&T plans to complete its initial rollout of nationwide LTE by the end of 2014, with a commercial launch of VoLTE in the same timeframe.
Speaking to the network as a whole, Prabhu said that AT&T is ready to begin upgrading its towers to LTE Advanced (Release 10). The upgrades are expected to go smoothly via a system a software patches, provided its network partners (primarily Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson) deliver on their promises of upgrade systems. Carrier aggregation technology, which lets carriers combine separate chunks spectrum for more bandwidth, is also on the way in the near future.
Source: Fierce Wireless