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T-Mobile Launches LTE-Advanced VoLTE in Seattle

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 1:07pm
Ben Munson

T-Mobile today launched Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) service in Seattle, deployed using an LTE-Advanced function called Enhanced Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (eSRVCC).

In a blog post, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said eSRVCC will help VoLTE calls from being dropped if subscribers move off LTE and onto HSPA+ or 2G coverage.

T-Mobile subscribers in Seattle using an LG G Flex, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Light will be able to use the service right away via an over-the-air update.

Ray said T-Mobile will continue rolling out VoLTE, and offering more compatible devices, throughout the year and was careful to point out that T-Mobile has been offering HD Voice since 2013. He worked in a jab at the carrier’s competitors, saying they couldn’t get out HD Voice without VoLTE.

T-Mobile’s announcement comes as VoLTE talk has flared up all over the industry.

AT&T just last week announced its VoLTE launch—covering select markets in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin. AT&T’s only compatible device, the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini, goes on sale May 23.

Not to be outdone, Verizon Tuesday provided an update on its VoLTE plans, promising the service will rollout out nationwide this year and run on a “robust” lineup of devices.

Sprint, meanwhile, has been launching HD Voice in select markets and is rumored to be sending it out nationwide in July. Sprint has yet to announce its plans for a VoLTE launch.

MetroPCS in 2012 was the first U.S. carrier to offer VoLTE.

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