Voice Over LTE's Future Is Far From Loud and Clear, Report Finds

Oct 27, 2009 (02:10 PM EDT)

NEW YORK, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Although mobile network operators and technology suppliers are firmly committed to LTE as the cornerstone for 4G networks, major disagreements about the importance of including voice service as part of early LTE deployments could lead to the kind of industry fragmentation that adversely affected 3G rollouts, according to the latest report from HASH(0x12d9a80) HASH(0x12d9d00) ( ), a paid research service from TechWeb's ( ).

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"Nearly everyone in the mobile phone industry agrees that LTE is the way forward for data, but that consensus does not extend to voice over LTE as yet," notes John Blau, research analyst with and author of the report. "Some mobile operators view LTE initially as a data-only play and do not see a powerful case for rushing into voice, while other operators are worried that LTE without voice could be off to a difficult start."

Lack of progress in developing IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) for mobile applications is seen as a big problem for voice over LTE implementations, Blau says. "Over the coming months, operators, vendors, and the 3GPP standards body will face some tough decisions," he adds. "For those operators that believe voice is absolutely essential to have in their LTE service portfolio from the start, interim solutions will be necessary to fill the gap created by the slow progress of IMS. These interim solutions could create the kind of technology fragmentation that occurred in 3G networks."

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