Feeds

Hey 4G bods: We need to make 'phonecalls' with our 'voices', too

And someone has to make it all work, natch

Intelligent flash storage arrays

MWC 2014 It’s well documented that voice is little more than an afterthought on 4G. That’s now being addressed, says Paul Gowans from network tech specialist JDSU, but it will be some time before you can reliably pick up a 4G phone and make a call to another one.

JDSU runs services for all kinds of networks, not just mobile. It does fibre, metro Ethernet and many flavours of radio. It makes the equipment for testing infrastructure and says a major source of its work at the moment is helping customers to get voice working on 4G.

When voice in 4G is working, as it is doing in South Korea on SK Telecom, it’s great. The call setup is particularly quick and the sound quality is amazing, far better than on landlines.

But a lot has to happen for the systems to work, in part because VoLTE (Voice over 3G Long Term Evolution) includes a guarantee of call quality – which means a guarantee of bandwidth, minimum lost packets or jitter. So it’s a much tighter set of regulations than those imposed on VoIP services, for example – which Skype users will attest.

As with existing systems, there is a lot of polling which needs to go on before a call can go through – making sure you should connect to the network and have paid your bill, for example. But one thing which is still a long way off is handoff. So long as you have good 4G coverage you can hop from base station to base station. But if you fall out of a coverage area and want to drop back to 3G or 2G, everything gets very difficult. Most systems currently expect the call to drop, which means you’ll have to redial.

IMS (IP multimedia system) provides a route to get a 3G signal powered up and ready for you before your 4G call drops (so as to hand it over smoothly), but that’s a long way from being a mainstream production solution.

JDSU's Gowans said he is involved with some of the discussions around 5G. Maybe this time around, the engineers will realise that people still use their phones for spoken conversations. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.