While many carriers, such as Sprint and T-Mobile, are struggling to bring its LTE networks to the general public, Verizon is already looking for ways to build on top of its existing LTE infrastructure. For those unfamiliar with the technology, Voice Over LTE is the ability to place calls over the LTE data network, as opposed to the traditional CDMA network. Many people may be thinking that this seems like a relatively simple processor, but carriers have said that there is a lot of back-end work required to make the technology work correctly.
While speaking during Verizon's first quarter 2013 earnings call, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo revealed that the carrier plans to release the first devices capable of placing voice calls over LTE sometime later this, and that the actual technology will begin to rollout in early 2014.
"We'll start to have VoLTE-capable phones by the end of this year, and we'll commercially launch early next year," Shammo said on Big Red's first-quarter call.
Seeing that LTE is a GSM technology, the ability to place calls over LTE means that we will soon see devices without CDMA radios launch for the first time ever. That will most likely happen at a later date, though, because if you were to travel to a city without LTE with a device without CDMA capabilities, then your device would essentially be rendered useless unless WiFi was available.
AT&T has also mentioned launching Voice Over LTE, but has not been very specific at all. AT&T's LTE network is also not as widely available as AT&T's, meaning that wide-spread adoption of the VoLTE technology is still further off for AT&T than for Big Red.
Voice Over LTE should also offer some major improvements to call quality and stability. Just like moving data from 3G to LTE improved performance, moving calls should offer some of the same ability. That assuming that Verizon does not throttle calls to keep the network stable, which knowing Verizon, is all together possible.
Verizon, while not necessarily the most liked carrier, is usually at the forefront of technology advancements, and this is just another example of that fact.
Source: Light Reading