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Voice Over Data
One factor that may drive adoption of LTE smartphones is the emerging availability of voice over LTE or VoLTE, allowing users to place calls through their data plans and save minutes, much the way voice over Internet protocol does with computers, cutting down on plan minutes (a particular boon for those with unlimited data plans).
"[This] represents the promise of more efficient voice for the carriers because calls will ride on the data channels rather than dedicated channels," said Ho.
Another factor that stands to drive LTE, said Michael Morgan of ABI Research, is an LTE iPhone available via Sprint, Verizon and AT&T .
"The iPad 3 is a great indicator that they now have [LTE] on a mobile device so they can work out the bugs" for the iPhone, he said. "Fifty percent of wireless consumers now have smartphones, and I wouldn't be surprised if, in the next four years that went up to 75 percent, with the remainder being people who will probably never get one because they don't get it."
In the next few years, Morgan added, other carriers are likely to follow Verizon's example and release only LTE-equipped smartphones as new offerings.
However, it would likely be at least a decade before carriers can start ditching their 2G and 3G networks. "They need to have a safety fallback for regions where it isn't worth getting LTE out to," said Morgan.
Based on your interest in this article, here's something that may be of interest to you also:
Recommended Reading: The History of Wireless: How Creative Minds Produced Technology for the Masses
Synopsis: The History of Wireless reads like a novel. It chronicles the discoveries and inventions that led to today's mass market. Available for the Kindle and in paperback.
Posted: 2012-04-10 @ 8:53am PT
@Sprint Advocate, @Telecomm guy: Good catches, thanks. Modifications made.
Posted: 2012-04-10 @ 8:07am PT
>Sprint already uses a slower standard, WiMax, which it also calls 4G for some devices like HTC's EVO 4G LTE, shown above.
UMMM? NO, The HTC EVO 4G LTE does NOT use Wimax, It's a LTE 4G device.
Posted: 2012-04-09 @ 4:42pm PT
WiMAX is not a slower standard at all. The current version can peak to 24Mbps or more if there is enough backhaul capacity. WiMAX 2.0 is faster than current LTE. They simply leapfrog with each release. That said, Sprint had no choice but to switch since it has become the standard.