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Continuing, Einstein says knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand – that is the sand in the gears for many pundits.  Ask them about advanced technologies such as LTE Broadcast or Voice over LTE, and they cannot imagine anything new because tomorrow is like yesterday.  LTE Broadcast?  Qualcomm tried that with MediaFlo.  VoLTE?  Same-old voice but with a new coat of paint.  Been there, done that, no business case.  Move along please, nothing here to see. 

Without imagination, you can never ask what might be, whether is it next $Billion start-up that rides on LTE Broadcast or look for additional pull-through and revenues from the digital services that come with VoLTE.

With VoLTE, we find competitive operators cooperate for their mutual interest, anticipating the benefits of Metcalfe’s Law.  That is what we read with yesterday’s joint press release about AT&T and Verizon Wireless working together to make sure VoLTE calls between their networks happen seamlessly and transparently.

Why do they make such a fuss and issue a joint press release?  AT&T and Verizon Wireless have about 2/3 of the US population as subscribers, and realizing Metcalfe’s implication for the value of VoLTE everywhere, they send a message to the other guys: Please get started ASAP - this is a bigger task than one can imagine.

There are multiple vendors to coordinate and interoperate, and it is in everyone’s interest to expand connectivity.   There are different network architectures, hundreds of network parameters to set, policy rules and enforcement, BSS/OSS to contend with, latency and jitter, point of connection issues, and so forth.  It seems like Avogadro’s Number of things can go wrong for a VoLTE call, and perhaps only one way for things to go right. AT&T and Verizon have the same infrastructure vendors and manage to get them to interoperate, so that is a head start.                                                             

Subscribers will grasp the benefit of VoLTE, why it is a big deal, and why calls sound so clear.   They will ask why their friends on other networks sound like Donald Duck.  AT&T and Verizon Wireless will have a lot of explaining – but so will the other guys.    So mobile operators, please get started ASAP, and do not be those other guys.