Feeds

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

And someone has to make it all work, natch

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.