Editorial: An update

HD Voice News has been on a hiatus of sorts over the past 60 to 90 days due to a variety of factors. 

Editor-in-Chief Doug Mohney will be at CTIA (I know they call it something else these days, but it is CTIA and in Vegas next month).  We expect to resume more regular publishing around September 2 or so.

Sprint retailer spams #HDvoice on Twitter

One or more Sprint retail stores seem to be determined to spam out Sprint’s use of HD voice on Twitter, with anywhere from at least four to six user IDs/employees in the Portland, Oregon engaging in a shoveling campaign of comments and pictures.

All the user accounts with a Oregon association seem to have been relatively inactive until anywhere from 24 to 48 hours ago, with at least one Twitter account appearing to dormant for over a year. 

Sprint HD voice handset statistics: 12 million now, 20 million by end of year

Various sources are discussing how many 3G CDMA HD voice capable handsets Sprint has deployed. with assertions of 12 million out now and up to 20 million by end of year.

An analyst blog by Zacks.com says Sprint currently has over 12 million customers using HD voice capable handsets. 

This number is expected to grow to 20 million phones in circulation by the end of the year, according to a tweet from @EvanKirstel

Vodafone Netherlands 3G HD voice rollout “almost complete,” starting VoLTE trials

Vodafone Netherlands has almost completed its 3G HD voice rollout, if Google translate is to be trusted, according to All About Phones. It is also starting VoLTE trials in the second half of this year and expects to have a commercial rollout by mid-2015, states Telecompaper.

KPN deployed HD voice in May 2012 while T-Mobile Netherlands has allegedly been turning up HD voice over the past month or so.

T-Mobile US adds 14 VoLTE cities, claims it uses max bandwidth

At its Un-Carrier 5.0 announcement/pep rally yesterday, T-Mobile US announced it expanded Voice over LTE (VoLTE) coverage to 15 total markets reaching 100 million people.  It also says it dedicates nearly 24 Kbps to VoLTE calls for the “highest fidelity” and added VoLTE support for the Samsung Galaxy S 5.

T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray detailed new VoLTE cities and areas in a blog post yesterday.  Atlanta, GA, Austin, TX, Boston, MA, Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Houston, TX, Long Island, NY, Los Angeles, CA, Minneapolis, MN, all of the state of New Jersey, New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA, San Francisco, CA, and Washington DC join the first rollout city of Seattle, WA.

Ray said T-Mobile offers the “highest fidelity HD voice possible” by providing 23.85 Kbps to the AMR-WB codec, the max rate the codec supports.   Other carriers have not said how much bandwidth they dedicate to VoLTE calls, but one might imply AT&T may not be using the full rate.

Other statements made by Ray in the blog post include “zero to nationwide LTE in under nine months,” the first company to launch Wi-Fi calling, and the first to launch nationwide HD voice.

HGC has IPX interconnection deals with Chunghwa, NTT, and Etisalat

Last week, Hutchinson Global Communications (HGC) signed IPX peering deals with Taiwan carrier Chunghwa Telecom and Japan’s NTT Communications to establish “multiservice” IPX peering connections.   HGC also has a memorandum of understanding for IPX interconnection with Etisalat of the UAE.

The interconnection partnerships will enable the four telecom carriers to “deliver greater reach” to more mobile network operators and ensure end customers can roam seamlessly across IPX platforms for “extending coverage” along with “a high quality voice and mobile data experience.”

Services supported on the Hutch-IPX platform include “comprehensive” IP interconnection services, such as 2G, 3G and 4G data roaming, VoIP and HD voice voice and video traffic, as well as Blackberry data traffic.

Everyone running an LTE network wants IPX to support international roaming, as well as support for seamless HD voice calls across/between other mobile network carriers.

Sri Lanka Gets HD voice via Etisalat

Etisalat has launched HD voice service in Sri Lanka.

The announcements came via Twitter, with pointers to a web page and a picture in Ow.ly.

UAE-based Etisalat has been conducting operations in Sri Lanka since 2010.  The parent company  launched HD voice service in its home territory roughly two years ago.

Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel talks HD Voice

The local paper in Milwaukee wrote about the coming of HD voice to town, available here–

http://www.jsonline.com/business/high-definition-voice-service-coming-to-wisconsin-b99273630z1-260054661.html

“High-definition cellphone service coming to Wisconsin,” discusses the arrive of AT&T’s VoLTE service, why it is better than standard definition, and the problems HD Voice News sees in interoperability between carrier HD networks.

T-Mobile US launches VoLTE in Seattle

One-upping AT&T and Verizon, T-Mobile US announced it has launched Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service in Seattle with support for three devices.

T-Mobile’s statement came in a blog posting from CTO Neville Ray.  Devices supported at launch are the LG G Flex, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Light, with devices currently in customer hands requiring the latest over-the-air software upgrade.

One feature highlighted in today’s announcement is Enhanced Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (eSRVCC), the first deployment in the U.S., claims Ray.  The technology is designed to ensure calls aren’t dropped when moving between LTE, HSPA, and 2G networks. 

No details were provided on future devices to be supported or new city to be turned p other than “T-Mobile’s engineering team is working tirelessly” to launch VoLTE in additional cities and more devices. 

The “Un-carrier” may be looking to finish its VoLTE deployment before Verizon and at the same time as AT&T, but T-Mobile won’t state such a goal out loud.

Deutsche Telekom: We’re not doing HD voice interconnection yet, on roadmap

German carrier Deutsche Telekom (DT) is not yet conducting HD voice call exchange either among its own subsidiaries or with other carriers on a peering or IPX basis, according to a company official. However, it and transcoding are on the roadmap.

The remarks came as a part of a discussion on interconnection and IPX at the Metaswitch Forum 14 event in New Orleans this week.  DT indicated that transcoding will most likely take place using the capabilities in Metaswitch’s Perameta SBC (Session Border Controller), as well as interconnection with other carriers to exchange HD voice calls.

No timetable or estimates were given as to when HD call exchange might take place.