United States-based carrier AT&T today officially announced its rollout of voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) calls. The VoLTE rollout comes in tandem with AT&T HD Voice launch, which provides better sounding phone calls. Starting on May 23rd, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin will be the initially supported markets for these features, but AT&T says to expect a more complete rollout as time goes on:
It’s just been getting started for one or two months. So far it’s hard to tell how that will affect our business [...]
We are happy with the progress as we are still building our 4G network and the coverage is only available in some major cities.
Analyst estimates of likely sales had varied widely. Most had predicted at least 15-17M sales a year in China as a whole, however, suggesting that 1M in a month on what is by far the country’s largest carrier may be somewhat lower than anticipated … Read more
From tomorrow, AT&T will cut the price of its 2GB data plan tier ‘Mobile Share Value’ from $55 to $40. In total, this plan will cost you $65 per month in data charges for one device, comprised of the reduced $40 data plan and a $25 device charge. As usual, there is a $25 charge for each device that shares the data allowance. For one device, this represents an overall reduction of approximately 20% of AT&T’s current offerings. Otherwise, the plans remain the same with unlimited talk and text service, unlimited international messaging in addition to the shared data.
Verizon Wireless, once the gold standard for LTE, has admitted that it is struggling to keep up with demand in the big cities – with some users being dropped down to slower 3G speeds. The carrier’s Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said yesterday:
There are certain pockets where we’re absolutely going to experience that down tick from the LTE network down to 3G because of capacity constraints … Read more
Supposed posters from China Mobile promoting the iPhone 5s and 5c have leaked out, touting “the strongest iPhone in China” (via UnwiredView). The ‘100’ visible on the poster indicates the network’s 100Mb/s maximum speed will be supported by the iPhone. Naturally, the iPhone will be China Mobile’s flagship 4G phone.
Apple has already received the necessary certification to put the iPhone on all Chinese spectrum, including the TD-LTE strand used by China Mobile, earlier this month. Now, the only holdup is getting permission from the MITT governing body to let China Mobile use the spectrum on a commercial basis.
If the iPhone 5C is launched in China at $400, and Apple’s partnership with China Mobile for a TDD-LTE version of the handset proceeds as expected, Apple’s market share in China could jump by a massive 19.3 percent – enough to make Apple the number one seller.