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US Wireless Carriers Shifting To Voice Over LTE 126

jfruh writes "For years for cell phone companies, one specific kind of data — voice calls placed by dialing a traditional telephone number — was entirely different from all the other kinds of data a phone used. But in the U.S., that's finally starting to change, as all the major carriers are planning shifts to voice over LTE. The carriers promise sharper call quality and quicker connections."
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US Wireless Carriers Shifting To Voice Over LTE

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  • Some problems (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jd ( 1658 ) <> on Friday May 23, 2014 @02:38PM (#47077059) Homepage Journal

    First, data doesn't get the same protections as voice. Not that voice gets much protection as it is.

    Second, carriers have said they will throttle data connections. This has serious implications for digital because it means carrier-to-carrier connections will (not may, will) be of inferior quality.

    Third, I would believe digital was going to deliver, except that nobody uses much in the way of error-correction, the speakers and microphones are deteriorating in quality and reliability is naff.

    Lastly, phone companies always promise jam tomorrow, or an increase in chocolate rations, but the reality is very different. I get a (billed) month of no service because of an upgrade to 4G. I can't remember the last free phone upgrade offered. My smartphone reboots itself regularly for no obvious reason. I used to be able to run a phone on full batteries for 2 days without a recharge. (Yes, phones "do more", but I don't bloody well want most of the more and the bits I do want aren't any bloody good! That is NOT a good exchange for 1/12th the uptime and nobody sells low-consumption phones any more.)

  • ISDN flashback (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BaronM ( 122102 ) on Friday May 23, 2014 @02:44PM (#47077147)

    Once upon a time when 128Kbps BRI ISDN was fast, voice calls were frequently billed at a lower per-minute rate than data calls. To take advantage of this, a common trick was to place a voice call and then pass data over it. This did result in a lower data rate of 56Kbps per channel or 112Kbps overall, but if that was enough, you could save a lot of money.

    Fast-forward to VOLTE.

    Most wireless carriers offer unlimited voice minute plans. Since it's all going to be IP over LTE now, I have to wonder if there will a way to pass your data off as a 'voice' call and avoid data caps and limits? Not on a stock phone, but on a rooted device with a custom OS build, maybe?

Recent research has tended to show that the Abominable No-Man is being replaced by the Prohibitive Procrastinator. -- C.N. Parkinson