If you thought implementing VoLTE (Voice over LTE) was as easy as installing a few extra towers, maybe some extra backend hardware and flipping a switch, think again. U.S. cellular provider, MetroPCS, is citing some difficult challenges hampering their progress to true network wide VoLTE.
MetroPCS CEO Roger Linquist said at a recent investor conference that there are some challenges that will require a further 4-6 months of optimization behind the scenes before VoLTE can be deployed to more markets.
There are a number of changes that need to be made in base station optimization in Dallas. This is not your grandfather’s Buick. This is a different animal.
Moving to VoLTE will (eventually) allow MetroPCS to refarm spectrum to aid in LTE coverage/performance – something the larger national carriers like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are looking to do with their aging 2 and 3G networks in the not too distant future. T-Mobile, actually, has begun refarming some of their network to better support the iPhone’s 3G/HSPA+ bands so that disgruntled AT&T users can make the switch and enjoy faster speeds than what they used to offer to said switchers.
VoLTE is still many years off from being a legitimate replacement to the current mediums used. Though, with as important as data is becoming (and the quicker carriers are being turned into dumb pipes) how much longer is dedicated voice service really relevant?