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.

Ibasis announces IPX interconnect between Poland and The Netherlands

KPN subsidiary iBasis this week announced an HD voice interconnection between Poland mobile operator P4 and KPN in the Netherlands.  Subscribers of PLAY, the P4 mobile brand, and KPN mobile can now directly make end-to-end mobile HD voice to each other across their respective networks.

The two carriers use iBasis’s IPX service, Premium Voice over IPX (PV-IPX), for exchanging HD voice calls.  IBasis says PV-IPX provides any necessary transcoding between wideband and narrowband codecs if necessary. 

Both PLAY and KPN launched mobile HD voice service is 2012.

IBasis has announced a number of IPX agreements, but this appears to be the first formally announced international HD voice interconnection agreement of its type between two different carriers.  In 2012, Orange announced its subsidiaries in Moldova and Romania were able to exchange HD voice calls, but the company has had no follow-on announcements.

Hong Kong Telecom (HKT) launches VoLTE

On May 15, Hong Kong Telecom (HKT)announced the launch of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service, marking the third VoLTE announcement within a week.

HKT is supporting the Samsung Note 3 for VoLTE customers.   Huawei is featured as the core network vendor in the VoLTE rollout. 

Consumers Digest brief on AT&T HD voice launch

Consumers Digest ran a piece on May 16 discussing AT&T’s HD voice launch–

http://www.consumersdigest.com/news/despite-tech-hurdles-att-will-launch-hd-voice-service

You’ll note HD Voice News predicts all carriers will be running HD Voice networks by mid-2015 with interconnectivity not happening until 2016.  The fuller answer given to Consumers Digest ran to about a page or so of complexity and explains.

NTT DoCoMo launching HD voice, VoLTE in June

Japan’s largest mobile operator said it plans to launch Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in late June.  Callers will be able to make HD voice calls simultaneously with a data connection, according to reports.

Four smart phones and two tablets offered by the carrier will  be able to conduct VoLTE calls after a software upgrade scheduled in or around late June.

Data charges for VoLTE-based video calls will be offered free of charge until September 2015, after which those calls will incur both voice and data charges.

This week marks the second major carrier to officially commit to VoLTE deployment this week. AT&T announced it will roll out VoLTE in four markets on May 26.