Report: US carriers experience huge surge in VoLTE with iPhone 6/6Plus, 3G calls down one-fifth

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Following the introduction of Voice-over-LTE technology with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which increases call quality by routing calls through an LTE network opposed to last generation 3G networks, US carriers have experienced a big increase in VoLTE calls. That’s according to a new report from Newfield Wireless that highlights a decrease for calls over 3G by about one-fifth compared to previous generation iPhones and other LTE-capable devices:

The majority of voice calls made on other 4G-enabled devices are currently routed through legacy 2G and 3G networks, due to the fact that not all networks and devices are optimised to deliver next-generation voice services. iPhone 6 devices are VoLTE-compatible and as a result, U.S. networks have experienced a surge in VoLTE calls since the September launch.

The report also shared some other data points from its research noting a few stats for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus uptake compared to previous generations: Read more

T-Mobile unveils expanded WiFi calling capabilities, Personal CellSpot router, partnership with Gogo for in-flight texts

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During its Uncarrier 7.0 event this afternoon, T-Mobile revealed a handful of new announcements as part of its ongoing quest to lead the mobile industry. Firstly, CEO John Legere announced that every phone it sells from here on out will be capable of WiFi calling and texting. The company says that anyone who does not currently have a phone capable of WiFi calling can upgrade to a supported phone with the carrier’s Jump program. As the name implies, WiFi calling and texting allows you to make calls and send texts over your WiFi network, as opposed to over the cellular connection.

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China Telecom advertises intent to sell iPhone 6 supporting all networks with curious set of renders

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If you thought things were messy with U.S. networks, Verizon and Sprint using CMDA and AT&T and T-Mobile using GSM, things are even worse in China – with WCDMA, CDMA2000, CDMA1X, GSM, TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE all in use by different carriers in different combinations.

The iPhone 6 may be about to make life a whole lot easier, though, with Sina (via ZDNet) reporting that the model sold by China Telecom at least will support all of the wireless networks in use in the country, based on a Weibo post by the carrier. Admittedly the image used in the Weibo above looks a little different than the general consensus we’ve seen before – they were created by Tomas Moyano and Nicolàs Aichino, and China Telecom likely downloaded them from Bēhance.

That aside, the message they are sending might be more interesting…

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Verizon announces plans to launch VoLTE service in Q4 2014, will still release CDMA-capable phones until 2016

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Verizon Wireless has announced its plans to launch support for Voice over LTE service (or VoLTE) on its cellular network later this year, according to FierceWireless. However, the company says it has moved back its plan to release a VoLTE-only phone until 2016, and will continue releasing CDMA-capable phones until that time. Such a device was originally anticipated for the end of 2014.

The carrier originally announced earlier this year that it would support the new voice service, which provides higher-quality phone calls by utilizing high-speed data connections, but declined at the time to say exactly when it would happen. Other U.S. carriers, including T-Mobile and AT&T, have already started rolling the technology out in select markets.

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Here are the first photos of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6’s alleged display part

Apple is gearing up to launch two larger iPhone sizes this fall: a 4.7-inch version and a 5.5-inch model. While the 4.7-inch version has been leaked extensively with a thinner body design, the 5.5-inch model only saw its first significant leak in the form of a dummy model last week. Today, Sonny Dickson has exclusively shared with us a pair of photos claimed to be showing the LCD display component for that larger iPhone with 5.5-inch screen. The photos show the display attached to a ruler that indicates a screen with a diagonal measurement of approximately 14cm:

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That 14cm converts to the 5.5-inches heavily rumored for the next-generation Apple smartphone. While these photos do not provide us with any breakthrough information about the new iPhone, the photos, at best, do show that Apple is already producing components for the larger sized phone and this means that production is likely nearing. Several reports have indicated that the 5.5-inch model will be in short supply upon launch and that the phone may even be released multiple weeks following the 4.7-inch version…

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T-Mobile launches VoLTE in its own backyard ahead of support planned for iPhone 6/iOS 8

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Following announcements earlier this month from both AT&T and Verizon, T-Mobile announced today it’s introducing Voice over LTE support starting with the Seattle market:

So I’m thrilled to congratulate my team on the launch of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in the Seattle area for our existing LG G Flex and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Light customers. Our friends at MetroPCS were the first to launch VoLTE in the U.S. back in 2012, and we’ve been working hard on a LTE Advanced version of VoLTE, which we plan to roll out to more T-Mobile customers throughout the coming year.

T-Mobile’s CTO Neville Ray noted that the new technology, which brings voice calls onto the same LTE radio layer previously reserved for data, will allow “faster call setup times (almost twice as fast as a non-VoLTE call setup) and the ability to enjoy lightening fast LTE data speeds while on a call.” It will also support the HD Voice or wide-band audio feature that Apple already supports. Ray explained how the technology works: Read more

AT&T announces rollout of voice-over-LTE ahead of likely iPhone 6/iOS 8 integration this fall

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, IllinoisIndianaMinnesota 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:

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Lightning iPad 4 could make its return tomorrow alongside 8GB iPhone 5c

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Update: March 18: Launched.

Indications from several sources (including our own) indicate that the iPhone 5c is set to see an expansion tomorrow with a less-expensive, lower-capacity 8GB model. But that might not be the only Apple iOS device announcement for tomorrow. According to a source, shipments of Apple’s fourth-generation iPad with Retina display have been arriving at Apple Stores with notices to not open until tomorrow (images below)…

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Reports: A8 won’t feature integrated LTE yet, low yield rates pushing Samsung out of the process?

Image via iFixit

Two new reports out today are offering a bit of early insight into what to expect from Apple’s next A-series SoC, or system on a chip, that powers its iPhone and iPad devices.

The first tidbit from Fudzilla says Apple will once again rely on Qualcomm for LTE chips in the next round of iOS devices rather than an A8 chip with LTE integrated. So what does this mean? It’s probably safe to assume Apple will save a SoC which includes the LTE modem in a future iteration.

Generally, the fewer chips required in a mobile device, the better optimized for battery life the device is. Apple, of course, must strive to engineer battery life parity, if not improvements, as our devices get more powerful each generation.

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Virgin Mobile cuts unsubsidized iPhone 5s to $440 or iPhone 5c for $360 shipped (Update)

From 9to5Toys.com:

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Virgin Mobile is knocking another 20% off their marked down iPhones yielding the lowest prices we’ve ever seen on the unsubsidized phones (that’s another 10% less than this weekend’s mention).

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Note Apple charges $650 for an unlocked iPhone 5s and $550 for an iPhone 5c so savings is around $200/iPhone. While the iPhones are unsubsidized, Virgin does offer extremely competitive plans on the Sprint 4G LTE network starting at $30/month for unlimited text/data. Read more