Pure-LTE smartphones still sound quite a ways off


When we’re talking about smartphone radios, we’re usually concerned with the latest-and-greatest tech they support – Cat 4 LTE, or even Cat 6 in some nations, for speeds reaching into the hundreds of megabits a second – so it’s easy to forget just how much support there is for older systems, even those we rely on regularly. While there’s some early progress towards things like voice over LTE, the vast majority of calls still get routed on older non-LTE networks. Even our data regularly dips into the 3G range, if not going all the way down to EDGE or even GPRS. Despite this reliance on older tech, there’s been this dream of putting that all behind us and really embracing LTE for all of our phone’s communication needs: not just VoLTE, but no 3G data, either. Verizon’s been talking about heading down that road for a while now, but its latest comments make that goal seem farther off than ever.

Last spring we heard from Verizon about its dream of turning off its CDMA network and going pure-LTE for a future smartphone. Back then we didn’t have much of an ETA, but a report in summer 2013 put Verizon’s LTE-only phone as arriving sometime late this year. Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing that happen, as now Verizon says that pure-LTE phones won’t debut until the first half of 2016.

That’s a big setback, but not a completely surprising one, considering the casual pace at which Verizon seems to have been approaching VoLTE – and the carrier’s going to want to have its VoLTE game down pat before it ventures away from 2G/3G entirely.

But when that day does come, we might see new fluidity in the market as phones are more easily moved between carriers. Yes, band issues will persist, but with CDMA out of the picture, we’ll be that much closer to carrier-agnostic phone hardware.

Source: Droid Life

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!