At an investor conference today, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo told the audience that the first phones to rely solely on the carrier's 4G LTE network for making voice calls are due to arrive in the first half of 2016.
Before that, Verizon is getting ready to switch on Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) functionality towards the end of this year.
This will allow calls to use the high-speed technology, which right now only supports data traffic. However, VoLTE-capable devices will still be able to connect to Big Red's 3G network for both calls and data.
That's all going to change in 2016, when the first 4G-only handsets will become available. This doesn't, however, mean that the company is planning on turning off its 3G network then. It hasn't announced plans for anything like that yet. But starting in a couple of years phones sold by Verizon will require one less radio to be fitted in them, which may or may not make them cheaper - that remains to be seen.
Verizon is taking this long to release 4G-only devices in order to ensure that the voice calls delivered over the LTE network are of the same quality (if not better) than those that use its 3G CDMA-based network.
That's stupid. Unless they magically make 4G have the same or better coverage than all 2/3G networks.
*In reply to Andrew @ 2014-08-13 07:33 from jerU* VoLTE is comparable to SIP: this is actually about using data for calls. The idea is about making it all about the data, not keeping voice-only protocols on the side: maybe you understand better ...
You gotta be idiot is not that you'll have to use data for calls is about using that band to phone calls