Jump to content

Contributors to this blog

Sprint to Begin VoLTE Soft Launch in September

Tim Yu
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Thursday, August 2, 2018 - 12:01 PM PDT

It's been a long time coming for Sprint through many trials and tribulations.  Now it's finally here!

S4GRU was able to obtain confirmations that Sprint is finally ready and prepared to enable Voice over LTE (VoLTE) for subscribers to manually opt into in select markets across the country this coming September. See list at the bottom. 

As a refresher here are some of the essential points about VoLTE applicable to Sprint: 

  • Calls placed over VoLTE will have the QOS tag unlike the current Calling Plus configuration on numerous Sprint devices
  • Like Calling Plus, VoLTE will have no fallback to the legacy 1x voice network. Calls will drop if the LTE signal drops
  • The voice codec is AMR-WB which one can experience with Calling Plus calls and matches the other carriers VoLTE setups. 

At this point and time S4GRU does not have a list of compatible VoLTE devices though we do speculate that any device currently running Calling Plus should be able to tap into that very same IMS core Calling Plus utilizes via true VoLTE. In addition, recent Apple iPhone's seems like a sure bet as some users have already experienced VoLTE in live field tests conducted by Sprint. For the non Sprint branded BYOD devices like Google Pixels or unlocked Moto devices the future is quite murky indeed. 

Sprint VoLTE Soft Launch Market Map

volte.jpg

See this for map of all Sprint market boundaries

Sprint VoLTE Soft Launch Markets

Atlanta / Athens Austin
Baltimore Boston
Central Jersey Chicago
Cincinnati
Cleveland
Colorado
Columbus
DFW East Kentucky
East Michigan
Ft. Wayne / South Bend
Houston
Idaho
Indianapolis
Kansas
LA Metro
Las Vegas
Long Island
Miami / West Palm
Milwaukee
Minnesota
Missouri
Nashville
New York City
Norfolk
North Wisconsin
Northern Jersey
Oklahoma
Oregon / SW Washington
Orlando
Philadelphia Metro
Phoenix
Pittsburgh
Richmond
San Antonio
SF Bay
South Bay
South Texas
Southern Jersey
Tampa
Toledo
Upper Central Valley
Utah
Washington DC
West Iowa / Nebraska
West Virginia

  • Like 12


36 Comments


Recommended Comments



On ‎8‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 4:23 PM, mmark27 said:

I don't know how excited I am for this. My experience on Calling Plus is VERY mixed with quality. Often folks on the other end complain I sound very choppy on a Calling Plus (on LTE) call, also losing audio for a couple seconds. Other times it's like I'm sitting in the same room with them. I hope there are some improvements afoot over Calling Plus quality. 

VoLTE will be a guaranteed bit rate while calling plus is 'best effort' 

Share this comment


Link to comment
3 hours ago, ceopwong said:

I have heard from a very reliable source that Samsung devices are first to be on the VoLTE testing bandwagon and there are three phases before it reaches testing out in the wild.  Sprint is on phase 1 and the next one has been delayed approximately a month and needs to be done before they are asking for volunteers for their devices to be put onto the VoLTE list.  He also mentioned the S8 devices are the first ones on the list.  Fingers crossed!  

My RF engineer was issued S8 test phones... he told me that he thought after testing phase was complete that would probably just be pushed to all compatible phones.. in phases

Share this comment


Link to comment
1 hour ago, bbostwick8 said:

My RF engineer was issued S8 test phones... he told me that he thought after testing phase was complete that would probably just be pushed to all compatible phones.. in phases

Yeah that was the general idea that I was given by my source as well.  Just the second testing phase was pushed back a month so it will delay and S8 devices were the first compatible phones they were going to try first is the impression I got from our brief conversation. I appreciate your confirmation and info though! 

Share this comment


Link to comment

Will Magic Boxes  support VoLTE on Day 1 if they are in the VoLTE rollout area or will that be a separate thing?

Share this comment


Link to comment
On 8/18/2018 at 4:40 PM, schmidtj said:

Will Magic Boxes  support VoLTE on Day 1 if they are in the VoLTE rollout area or will that be a separate thing?

I would think any Macro site that is supplying the backhaul with VoLTE enabled would mean Magic Boxes get it too. 

Share this comment


Link to comment
On 8/2/2018 at 3:01 PM, burnout8488 said:

Great news. I wonder if this will come with a subsequent final bump of B26 power levels to absolutely ensure the voice footprint is as close to 1x as it can get. 

 

The problem is generally the power from the handset back to the tower, not from the tower to the handset.

On 8/2/2018 at 5:18 PM, floorguy said:

yea i would agree.. after a week i turned it off... while "general" service around here is probably better than average. There are still to many holes, in areas where quite frankly there shouldnt.. Yesterday and today for example... I was at around 111 -114 signal strength B-41... and it wouldnt even pull up basic speed test.. Come on Really????  And I am suppose to have a business call???  Not good

8

Voice calls should require less capacity than a speed test. A speed test is the most intensive thing you can do on a network, well, short of BitTorrent.

Share this comment


Link to comment
4 hours ago, flyloc2 said:

Any idea when this will start?

Perhaps we’ll hear something after the new iPhones launch this week?

Share this comment


Link to comment
On 9/14/2018 at 6:22 AM, ericdabbs said:

Are they using all 3 LTE bands for VoLTE?  It would be interesting to see B41 VoLTE.

I don't see why not, China Mobile does it, although they have more than a million base stations in China due to the smaller coverage of band 38/41. The main thing is that changes between bands are dynamic and without disruption, so if band 41 gets weak it'll switch seamlessly to band 25 or 26 and back again.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×