T-Mobile Neville Ray

T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray (that's him above) today announced that it's bringing voice over LTE — that's VoLTE — to Seattle for three Android smartphones. The lucky winners are the LG G Flex, Samsung Galaxy Light and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

This piggybacks off MetroPCS' VoLTE implementation, and it works just like it sounds. Instead of phone calls going through the traditional circuit system, they'll be placed over the LTE network. It's not all that easy, and it's just now starting to roll out. But it's an important step.

If you're interested in the dirty details, here's how Ray put it:

VoLTE calls will be carried over IP on our LTE network instead of a circuit-switched path on our 4G HSPA+ network. This is advantageous because your phone stays on our wicked fast LTE network to make a call. The tricky bit in all this is the smooth mobility between our various radio layers. Enhanced Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (eSRVCC) is a new LTE Advanced function and we're excited to be the first to deploy it in the U.S. All of this basically helps ensure that your capable phone won't drop a call if you leave an LTE area and it switches to 4G HSPA+ or 2G coverage.

If you've got either of those three Android devices, look for a software update to turn on VoLTE. And then move to Seattle.

Source: T-Mobile

 

Reader comments

T-Mobile brings VoLTE to Seattle for a trio of Android devices — see if yours made the cut!

53 Comments

Way to go T-Mo.
Slowly but surely... you'll claw your way up that ladder baby..
By January 2016 ( or sooner ) you'll be the Number ___ carrier in the U.S.

Wow, the height of ignorance of the author. T-Mobile's VoLTE network does not piggy back of Metro PCS's implementation. MPCS' VoLTE network was shutdown from day 1 of integration, because the 2 networks are not compatible with each other and because TMO wanted to do VoLTE with eSRVCC (seamless handover to 3G, which MPCS did not have and was not capable off due to its underlying CDMA network)

The only hardware needed is an LTE radio. VoLTE operates over the LTE data connection. So if the phone can get LTE data it can do VoLTE. The question is will the software needed to make VoLTE work on the nexus 5 be released. Likely not.

I wonder if it can be done to a rooted nexus 5 if it doesn't officially get it.

Posted via Nexus 5 Android Central App

I'm thinking that if T-Mobile converts most of it's 2G network to LTE and launches VoLTE in more places, Google could include it in one of it's Android updates the N5 will get. Even if they are closing down the Nexus program, they should still be supporting the phone until the end of next year some time.

Does VoLTE have the same delay as VoIP? That's one thing I really dislike about VoIP calls. There's a big delay in when the other person hears you speak and vice versa always causing some "Wait, no you... Okay, so anyw-... No, no, go ahea- Well, I was say- Sorry, you first...Okay, I-"

No it doesn't i had a phone on Metro with VoLTE when it was CDMA and calls were really fast on VoLTE no delay at all.

Yeah VoLTE data is prioritized over normal data to prevent the OTT VoIP delays that we are all used to.
It's also more cleanly built into the software by the manufacturers, unlike VoIP apps which try to work on all phones with one generic build, that normally does a poor job of utilizing the phones voice hardware.
since it's built by the manufacturer it better supports the phones native echo cancellation and other hardware voice features. Call quality should be a step above normal cellular calls.

Ha just got the G Flex two days ago that's awesome. Too bad I'm in Detroit...

But the ghosting on this screen...holy crap. I think I'll have to trade or return it.

Well.. "Any" darlgaaz, is pretty general.. DLP screens are not effected. I still love that technology, I can tear my Big Screen down to the ground and replace any part in there myself.. saves a lot of dough..:-)

I have no idea but it's really terrible. If I type a text message, then hit the home button, the keyboard stays on the screen for 5-10 seconds. And it happens all over the place with all types of images. I'm going to call tmobile and ask to trade. If the new phone is just as bad, I'm returning it.

Doing some reading online, it seems like a pretty widespread issue. People say it's because this is one of the first plastic OLED screens...I don't care why I just can't stand it.

All of this basically helps ensure that your capable phone won't drop a call if you leave an LTE area and it switches to 4G HSPA+ or 2G coverage.

That last part about 2G ? Really this is 2014!

Happens often enough that you wouldn't want the phone call to drop if it hits 2G. If you're on a phone call and you go into an elevator or under ground around the city, you'll often drop to HSPA+ or even EDGE just to hold onto a call. Definitely useful to have that ability.

How are they limiting to certain devices? So in the future if get an unlocked device with the correct bands capable of VoLTE can T-Mobile block that? Currently for LTE I just swap my sim and I'm golden.

Posted via Android Central App

I'm guessing it's limited to devices whose software supports their VoLTE implementation. It's probably a short list at this point.

I think its similar to the way the Nexus 5 can't use T-mobile's current wifi calling options and only phones bought directly from T-mobile can.

It is all software based. Sounds like they got Samsung and LG to make an update to enable it. Once it is proven and initial markets come online I am sure there will be updates for other handsets.

People shouldn't be walking anywhere while talking on their phones. When most people put a phone to their ear, they forget that there are other people in the world still.

Oh crap! We all forgot about that thing we signed that said by year 2014 this will be gone and this and this and we will have this and this and this. Oh right... Saying a year doesn't mean a damn thing and 2G is a fall back for when you are underground or in a heavy duty building. Just liking listening to music on the radio or getting WiFi through 3 rooms... Radio signals will drop. Soapbox ends here.

If your going to get up on your soapbox at least get your facts straight
T-mobile said that half of it's 2G footprint would be converted to LTE within 2014
and the rest substantially complete by the end of 2015.
They are doing the work, but we still have some time to go. I'm sure customers would prefer to drop to 2G and not drop their phone calls, if they have no other option than dropping to 2G.
And even after T-mobile 2G is gone, there will still be roaming.
It's better than what will happen on Verizon, VoLTE calls will just drop if they leave LTE coverage, though admittedly that's extremely less likely :)

My soapbox contained which facts that you are disputing ;)
I was stating that a year does not eliminate the need for older technology, which was mentioned in that article and press release.
"... All of this basically helps ensure that your capable phone won't drop a call if you leave an LTE area and it switches to 4G HSPA+ or 2G coverage."

If you call launching in one city beating them. Not to mention their 4G network overall doesn't hold a candle to Verizon and At&t. When they launch Volte it will be on a much larger scale. Hundreds of cities at once.

Posted via Android Central App

But, technically, he's right. Even if Verizon does it on a much larger scale, T-Mobile still be out everyone to it.

Well, AT&T launches tomorrow in more cities but only on ONE device (S4 Mini). How many people do you think own an S4 Mini? LOL

I like how some posters are trying to spin this into a negative, lol. People have nothing better to do than to start the "My carrier is better than your carrier!" crap.

43% of my state is still on T-Mobile's 2G EDGE network. Yes, 2G... not even 3G....
let alone 4G LTE. Even the local T-Mobile store guy told me to stay with Verizon
if I want 4G... at least for the next 2 to 3 years. (he's been saying that since 2011)

When are the [rear]holes at T-Mobile going to do something about this disgrace?
(especially the new CEO whose faces looks like a [rear-facing reversed]hole?

He drives everywhere in his state and makes graphs and does mathematical equation s to form his numbers just so he can complain about it which no one honestly cares about.

Posted via Android Central App

CarrierPigeon says:
"43% of my state is still on T-Mobile's 2G EDGE network. Yes, 2G... not even 3G....
let alone 4G LTE"
He actually has a 0.0078% chance of being correct..
But I thought T-Mobile strung another line out to that prison to fix this very issue last year..