U.S. wireless carriers have started talking about the role voice will play on 4G LTE, with HD voice having the potential to be a leverage point to get consumers onto a new network.
At the Open Mobile Summit conference, a panel of carrier executives and wireless industry experts hashed out revenue-generating opportunities for 4G networks, according to a piece on CNN.com.
Sprint CTO Stephen Bye reportedly said, “It is important to not lose sight of what customers see as important. Despite how much carriers are focusing on 4G data speed, most customers measure network success based on voice-call quality."
The piece also warns of consumer pushback as consumers try to make VoLTE calls and only get “high definition calling” when calls are made between on-network devices, but Verizon might be thinking that there’s money to be made out of HD voice
“Verizon director of ecosystem development Brian Higgins told CNN that ‘high-definition audio fidelity will be a major selling point’ for Verizon — implying that the carrier might be hoping to sell VoLTE as some kind of premium service, at least initially,” said the CNN piece.
If Verizon is thinking along these lines, it goes against the current business model for HD voice around the world, where HD voice is offered at no cost and viewed as a customer retention and customer acquisition tool, than a ramp to more revenue.