Verizon Wireless has once again pushed back the launch window for handsets and devices without CDMA radios by a further two years, yet still plans to debut VoLTE service by the end of the year, and will instead continue to use its CDMA network for voice calls for two more years. Verizon had previously stated as far back as December of last year that VoLTE-only devices and service would appear later this year. Speaking to investors at the Oppenheimer Technology, Internet & Communications Conference carried by FierceWireless, CFO Fran Shammo said:
“For us, when we launch a new technology, we have to make sure our quality is strong because the CDMA network was so strong. We don’t go before we know it’s ready.”
Shammo’s latest comments on VoLTE show that Verizon isn’t fully confident in the quality of its forthcoming service yet, which was expected to launch late last year before being postponed. T-Mobile is currently the only carrier with a fully operational commercial VoLTE deployment and has expanded the reach of its service to 200 million people across the country; AT&T launched VoLTE across the Midwest earlier this year as a limited launch with no signs of further expansion. Sprint has yet to commit to deploying VoLTE and is instead relying on the AMR-Wideband codec for its implementation of the “HD Voice” service.
Shammo also stated that the carrier will finish deploying LTE on its AWS spectrum by the end of the year with Verizon using the AWS spectrum to overlay the initial LTE coverage and capacity provided by its primary 700MHz LTE network. He also noted the company is looking at LTE Broadcast, but any sort of official deployment is about a year away, as the company is currently performing large-scale public and private testing of the technology in partnership with the IndyCar Series after closed-door demos earlier this year during the NFL’s Super Bowl.