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Found 9 results

  1. Josh HillSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesFriday, April 5, 2019 - 3:06 AM PDT Now that VoLTE is actually rolling out on Sprint, it's a good time to dive into what exactly is VoLTE, and how is it different from Calling+ and VoWiFi (Wifi Calling). Background Terms E-UTRA or EUTRA: Stands for Evolved Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) Terrestrial Radio Access. This is the technical name for the actual LTE airlink. QoS: Quality of Service. This is a way of tagging / flagging certain types of traffic to have priority above or below other traffic. When traffic has a QoS tag higher than other traffic, network equipment (the tower, routers, etc) will drop or ignore lower priority traffic to ensure that this traffic goes through instead. The equipment can also be configured to reserve a certain amount of bandwidth to only be used by traffic with a particular QoS tag. For example, if a router has 10 Mbps available, it can allocate 1 Mbps for a certain QoS tag. Normal traffic will only be able to use 9 Mbps, with 1 Mbps reserved for that QoS tag. The number of QoS priorities / tags varies between equipment vendors, but can be in excess of 256 priority levels. QCI: QoS Class Identifier. This is a value that an LTE / E-UTRA session can be assigned that corresponds to a particular QoS tag and specific attributes of that particular QoS queue. For example, it may or may not specify a guaranteed/dedicated bandwidth allocation (GBR). APN: The APN is the name of the gateway on a mobile network. It identifies the packet data network that should be used for that E-UTRA session. IMS: IP Multimedia Subsystem. It is a method for sending SMS over LTE, along with setting up VoLTE calls and other signaling. eCSFB: Circuit Switched Fall Back. For phones / UEs that can only listen on either LTE or CDMA rather than both simultaneously, it is a method for the LTE network to tell the device that a call is coming in, and to switch over to CDMA to process it. SRLTE: Single Radio LTE. This is a capability of newer devices that allows them to listen on both CDMA and LTE at the same time, but only transmit on one at a time. This replaces the need for eCSFB, allowing the device to see a call coming in over CDMA while it’s using LTE. It is also more reliable and reduces the number of missed calls due to failed fallback. When a call is active, the LTE session is stopped / paused. SIP: Session Initialization Protocol. This is the standard protocol for VoIP in telecom networks. How VoLTE Works While we typically think of LTE as a single connection, multiple E-UTRA “sessions” can actually be established, creating what are essentially virtual/multiple LTE interfaces, each with their own IP address, QoS level, APN, etc. Each session has a numerical QCI assigned that dictates the actual QoS priority and whether or not it has a GBR (Guaranteed Bitrate). QCI Resource Type QoS Priority Packet Delay Budget Packet Error Loss Rate Example Services 1 GBR 2 100ms 10−2 Conversational Voice 2 GBR 4 150ms 10−3 Conversational Video (Live Streaming) 3 GBR 3 50ms 10−3 Real Time Gaming, V2X messages 4 GBR 5 300ms 10−6 Non-Conversational Video (Buffered Streaming) 65 GBR 0.7 75ms 10−2 Mission Critical user plane Push To Talk voice (e.g., MCPTT) 66 GBR 2 100ms 10−2 Non-Mission-Critical user plane Push To Talk voice 75 GBR 2.5 50ms 10−2 V2X messages 5 non-GBR 1 100ms 10−6 IMS Signalling 6 non-GBR 6 300ms 10−6 Video (Buffered Streaming) TCP-Based (for example, www, email, chat, ftp, p2p and the like) 7 non-GBR 7 100ms 10−3 Voice, Video (Live Streaming), Interactive Gaming 8 non-GBR 8 300ms 10−6 Video (Buffered Streaming) TCP-Based (for example, www, email, chat, ftp, p2p and the like) 9 non-GBR 9 300ms 10−6 Video (Buffered Streaming) TCP-Based (for example, www, email, chat, ftp, p2p and the like). Typically used as default bearer 69 non-GBR 0.5 60ms 10−6 Mission Critical delay sensitive signalling (e.g., MC-PTT signalling) 70 non-GBR 5.5 200ms 10−6 Mission Critical Data (e.g. example services are the same as QCI 6/8/9) 79 non-GBR 6.5 50ms 10−2 V2X messages (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QoS_Class_Identifier) As you can see in the above table, the QCI does not necessarily correspond to the QoS level. For example, QCI 1 has a QoS priority of 2, but QCI 5 has a QoS priority of 1, making it actually higher priority traffic. On Sprint, traditionally one E-UTRA session was used, with a QCI of 9 and QoS priority of 9. This is the lowest QoS priority, and does not have a guaranteed bitrate. On devices which use eCSFB or VoLTE, another E-UTRA session is established for the IMS APN using a QCI of 5 and QoS priority of 1, and is used for IMS. This session also does not have a guaranteed bitrate, but it has the highest QoS priority. IMS is used for SMS over LTE, along with setting up VoLTE calls. eCSFB devices use it for SMS, and likely also for triggering eCSFB. On newer device which instead use SRLTE, IMS is not used unless VoLTE is enabled, and they instead use CDMA 1x for SMS, so an IMS E-UTRA session is often not setup. When a VoLTE call is initiated, a third E-UTRA session is established, also using the IMS APN. This session has a QCI of 1 and QoS priority of 2. Unlike the other two sessions, this one does have a guaranteed bitrate. For Sprint, this bitrate is 39 Kbps. The screenshot below shows all 3 sessions: VoLTE E-UTRA sessions This is how VoLTE calls are prioritized over regular data. Normal data usage, such as loading a web page or watching a video, will still use the lower, default QoS (QCI of 9), while the data for the VoLTE call will be at the second highest priority (QCI 1), just after IMS signaling (QCI 5). The tower / eNB will ensure that the VoIP session always is able to use up to 39 Kbps by reserving that bandwidth and dedicating it to the call. This is in contrast to “Calling+”, which does not establish a separate E-UTRA session, and instead uses the normal QCI 9 session. The below screenshot shows an active Calling+ call. Note the presence of only a single E-UTRA session. Calling+ E-UTRA sessions So now that we have the airlink for VoLTE, what happens? VoLTE, Calling+, and VoWiFi are essentially standard SIP VoIP calls. The below screenshots show the SIP details for an active call, and the LTE Signaling messages that setup and then end the SIP call. VoLTE SIP details VoLTE Signaling For VoLTE, the traffic for the SIP call goes over the QCI 1 E-UTRA session instead of the normal QCI 9 session. This means that the eNB (tower) will reserve and guarantee 39 kbps for the call, but other traffic from the same device will not be prioritized and will use the normal session. So starting a VoLTE call will not make the rest of your traffic prioritized, it will apply only to the VoLTE call. So as a recap, when VoLTE is enabled, the UE / phone establishes multiple E-UTRA sessions. One is used for normal usage, one is used for texting and signaling, and one is used for the VoLTE call. Think of these like separate virtual ethernet cables. On the QoS prioritized and guaranteed bitrate VoLTE session, the UE establishes a SIP VoIP connection for a call. On Calling+ devices, the same SIP connection is used, however it runs over the default QCI 9 session instead, and therefore isn’t prioritized and doesn't have a guaranteed bandwidth. This is why Calling+ calls are more likely to cut out or not sound as good. VoLTE call Calling+ call VoWiFi (Wifi calling) operates almost the same way. Like VoLTE and Calling+, it also uses the same SIP connection for calls and presumably IMS for signaling, but instead of using an LTE E-UTRA session, the phone establishes an IKEv2 IPsec VPN connection to Sprint. This is an encrypted connection that allows data to be tunneled directly into Sprint’s network. The SIP and IMS traffic are then routed over this VPN to Sprint, but not other, normal traffic. From a QoS perspective, VoWiFi is identical to Calling+, in that neither are prioritized above other traffic. VoWiFi call Because VoLTE, Calling+, and VoWiFi all use the same SIP servers and connections, under normal conditions they sound the same and can technically hand off to one another. They can all take advantage of HD Voice codecs and should sound the same, since the call itself is identical across all three. The difference is how the data for that call makes it to Sprint. VoLTE is able to use a dedicated, guaranteed airlink to ensure that congestion on the network (LTE or WiFi) won’t adversely affect the call. One final performance benefit is that VoLTE is able to take advantage of something called RoHC (Robust Header Compression), seen in the above 3 screenshots. This compresses the IP, TCP, UDP, and RTP headers from 60 bytes to 1-3 bytes, resulting in up to 60% bandwidth savings. It’s only possible on a dedicated link, which is why VoLTE has it but Calling+ and VoWiFi do not. So not only does VoLTE have guaranteed, dedicated bandwidth, it will use potentially half as much, which matters a lot for maintaining the call in edge of cell scenarios.
  2. Tim YuSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesWednesday, October 2, 2018 - 9:00 PM PDT Starting right now, October 3,2018 12:01 AM EST, Samsung Galaxy S8, 8+, and S8 Active users can manually download the firmware to remove Calling Plus from their devices and bring forth the VoLTE Opt-In toggle. Oh yeah. VoLTE is live on the Sprint Network™ as part of the VoLTE Soft Launch in the select markets. The roll out to the soft launch markets will be gradual over the next weeks. So have at it you folks in the first soft launch markets that are going live! Here are the first 15 initial soft launch markets with more following in the next few weeks. Atlanta-Athens Chicago Dallas-Ft.Worth Houston Indianapolis Kansas Missouri New York City Oregon-West Washington Philadelphia Pittsburgh San Francisco Bay South Bay Southern Jersey Washington DC And if you're in a soft launch market... Source: /u/TheButlershrsmn Discuss Sprint VoLTE on on the forums.
  3. Tim YuSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesFriday, September 28, 2018 - 8:10 PM PDT In the past few day, Sprint began informing its staff and partners that the VOIP application used for LTE Calling on Sprint devices, Calling Plus, will be starting to be decommissioned beginning with software updates to Android devices on the 29th of September. Sprint updated the Calling Plus FAQ to note this upcoming change to android devices via software updates yet to be rolled out. The following is allegedly what the UI screen will resemble when the devices are updated to remove Calling Plus. Photo Credit: Sean Yes. That's right. Don't avert your eyes! The removal of Calling Plus heralds the arrival of the Opt-In VoLTE toggle. Magic Box Connections Enhanced In addition to the removal Calling Plus, existing Magic Box's have already began and will continue to receive firmware updates that will enable the support of VoLTE in the soft launch regions. This firmware update, currently 15.15.50.514 / 60.7.46.0, also has additional "enhancements" that will improve uplink performance and device handoffs between Magic Box's to and from other Magic Box's or Macro / Micro cells. This is what the screen appears to be when updated. Photo Credits: Jim So with all this work going on it's all on you Galaxy S8 generation users to tell us on your experiences with the the slightly delayed VoLTE soft launch in the coming days!
  4. Tim YuSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesThursday, 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 See this for map of all Sprint market boundaries Sprint VoLTE Soft Launch Markets .tg {border-collapse:collapse;border-spacing:0;} .tg td{font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px;padding:10px 5px;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;overflow:hidden;word-break:normal;border-color:black;} .tg th{font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-weight:normal;padding:10px 5px;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;overflow:hidden;word-break:normal;border-color:black;} .tg .tg-wk8r{background-color:#ffffff;border-color:#ffffff;text-align:center;vertical-align:top} 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
  5. Hi everybody I would figure I would start a Sprint volte launch thread. please keep the let's please keep it on topic.
  6. Does anyone have the J7 Perx yet? "Calling Plus" (VoLTE Lite) is supposedly going live today and is supported on this device.
  7. AT&T took the plunge. Let's see how far they can go with it and how it compares to the HD Voice offerings of Sprint and T-Mobile. [url="http://www.androidcentral.com/att-switches-hd-voice-small-test-markets-small-phone
  8. See this article: http://www.fiercebroadbandwireless.com/story/verizon-pushes-back-volte-service-until-2014/2012-10-11 At first, VoLTE will be used to deliver "Rich Communications Services" (which look like something similar to what Voice over IP/Video over IP outfits offer today) rather than completely replacing narrowband voice. It will be awhile before Verizon is willing to commit to that, due in part to LTE outages in late 2011. On the flip side is MetroPC, which has pushed VoLTE as hard as it could. Then there's Sprint, which will stick to voice over 1x for the foreseeable future, but routes Direct Connect over IP. Sprint's latest DC incarnation seems quite similar to one facet of RCS over LTE.
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