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Coalition of carriers, manufacturers settles on voice standard for LTE

Chris Ziegler

As much fanfare and support as it's been getting over the past couple years, LTE's dirty little secret is that there's been no unified stance on how to ferry voice services over the technology; the concentration has been on data alone so far. Sure, the occasional carrier has raised concerns -- and a variety of solutions have been proposed, ranging from VoIP to repurposing legacy networks for voice alone -- but until now, voice has been an afterthought that everyone's been procrastinating on solving. Fortunately, a veritable who's-who of industry players from both the manufacturer and carrier sides of the fence have congealed this week to announce the One Voice initiative, which basically just hand-picks existing 3GPP-defined standards for voice and SMS services over LTE. Strangely missing is T-Mobile, one of the loudest voices in demanding a voice standard for LTE up until this point -- but considering that AT&T, Orange, Telefonica, TeliaSonera, Verizon, and Vodafone are all on board along with Samsung, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and others, we think they'll have no option but to fall in line in the long term. For consumers, this means we can all breathe a sigh of relief that LTE handsets won't be arbitrarily compartmentalized by supported voice standard, so it's a big win any way you slice it.

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