Now that Verizon is almost done with its LTE rollout, the company is ready to turn towards its next big cellular transition — the move from CDMA to LTE for its voice calls. As noted by Droid-Life, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo spoke recently at the Oppenheimer Technology, Internet and Communications Conference and laid out the company’s plan for VoLTE.
VoLTE will route all phone calls over Verizon’s all-digital LTE network instead of the cellular 3G network. The technology promises an improved voice experience as well as added features like video calling and video voicemail.
According to Shammo, Verizon will launch VoLTE in the first half of 2014. The first phone with built-in support for VoLTE will debut at the end of this year. The early adopter phone will still carry a CDMA chip, in case it needs to fall back to 3G to place a call. By the end of 2014, Verizon will move further away from CDMA with the launch its first LTE-only phone.
Shammo also hopes that the move to LTE-only phones will reduce the cost of manufacturing a phone since they will no longer require both a CDMA and an LTE chip. Because this was a business-oriented talk, these savings will show up on the carrier level and may or may not influence consumer pricing.
Hop over to Droid-Life if you want to listen to an audio recording of the talk.