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Non-Intels rally 'round LTE spec

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A gaggle of LTE proponents have released a tech spec for voice and SMS over that 4G wireless standard, moving LTE one more step ahead of its Intel-championed competitor, WiMAX.

Mobile providers and handset manufacturers AT&T, Verizon, Orange, Sony Ericsson, Nokia, and others announced the technical profile in a joint statement released Wednesday.

Dubbed One Voice (PDF), the spec details what the statement describes as an "optimal set" of 3GPP-specced capabilities with the goal of ensuring LTE compatibilities.

The profile is based on the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), which the statement describes as the participants' agreed-upon best choice for transitioning from erxiting circuit-switched telelphony to IP-based LTE.

A central goal of the global agreement is to allow international roaming of LTE-based data, voice, and SMS services. The various participants will be able to customize their individual services, but the underlying foundation will remain a common one.

The One Voice release is just the latest bit of evidence that LTE is gaining the advantage over WiMAX. But don't count WiMAX out just yet. Not only does it have the distinct advantage of already existing while LTE continues to get its show on the road, Sprint is busily preparing a 15-city roll-out in the US by the end of next year, and Intel's deep pockets and firm commitment are not to be taken lightly.

That said, the LTE bandwagon is picking up speed, and the One Voice spec just gave it another hefty push. ®

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