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Could plans be purely data when VoLTE comes out?


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What do you think callphone plans will look like when VoLTE is up and running and all the usage of the phone is converted to data and sent over the LTE airwaves? Will they still try to figure out how many calls, text and data usage you burn through every month? Or will it start to look more like the tablet plans? Right now there are programs out there that allow you to make all your calls and texts from a tablet. Then people would have to balance how much talking they do with how much websurfing and downloading. It would add that much more value to using WiFi for voice, data and texts.

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it'll come down to MB usage... unlimited will go out the window and there will be different blocks like data plans now... 5GB.. 10GB.. etc. talking.. texting.. etc will consume very little data.. it'll be streaming and downloading people will have to watch out for. we can all already benefit from free calls/texts over wifi thanks to google voice.


between my clear 4g connection and wifi... my e4gt doesn't even need a carrier really. 4g/wifi blankets the entire city... with groove ip app and a google voice account you can make free calls using the xmpp protocol. at this point.. you're bypassing the need for even a sip account/server. good times.

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Agreed, although I don't know how texting falls in this analysis. It's not a call and not really data, so I'm not sure how that will work out unless someone knows better. Once VoLTE is standard though, CDMA/GSM becomes obsolete and spectrum is refarmed to data, so plans will start to reflect that in a format we haven't seen yet, but guaranteed to bring the carriers more money.

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I agree that plans could absolutely be based upon data only, although there will still be separate voice/data/text plans for awhile yet simply because there are still a significant (if ever shrinking) number of mobile phone users who still use their phone primarily to make calls.

I have an iPod Touch, and use an app called "Pinger" to make free voice calls whenever I have Wifi coverage (you have to watch 15 second ads to "earn" minutes but I've racked up so many now I'll never use them all, I had 335 at last count-you can also buy minutes if you want to for something like 1.5 cents per minute). Texts and incoming calls are free, but the point is all this travels over data networks, and the same app is available to iPhones (and there are of course many apps like Google Voice and others for Android phones, too) which allow you to completely bypass the cellular voice network and make calls over a data network. I do think that is the new reality and carriers will respond accordingly.

Edited by jpkjeff
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  • 2 weeks later...

My Verizon friend told me that they plan to start VoLTE test markets this fall and have discussed data-only plans. Until VoLTE has a better and more efficient vocoder than AMR 12.2k, 1xAdvanced will be more efficient. It uses EVRC-B (8.33 kbps with half and quarter scaling options), which sounds better and is more efficient than AMR. I personally prefer good old EVRC (9.6 kbps) that Sprint (and Verizon in many places) still uses today. Verizon will likely be all VoLTE by mid-2016; however, I see Sprint sticking with 1xA for a few years-- and I don't think that will be a bad thing.

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It uses EVRC-B (8.33 kbps with half and quarter scaling options), which sounds better and is more efficient than AMR. I personally prefer good old EVRC (9.6 kbps) that Sprint (and Verizon in many places) still uses today.


EVRC is also an ~8 kbps (max 8055 bps) codec. The 9.6 kbps comes from the CDMA rate set (e.g. 9.6 kbps or 14.4 kbps), but the rest of the bits are FEC or just padding.



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