Verizon's Shammo lays out the VoLTE plans

Verizon's Shammo lays out the VoLTE plans
We've known bits and pieces about Verizon's planned transition to voice-over-LTE (VoLTE), but Verizon's CFO Fran Shammo has given quite a bit more new info on the topic while speaking at the Oppenheimer Technology, Internet, and Communications Conference yesterday. We have known for a while that next year will the official transition to VoLTE, but now we have more of an idea on how the timetable is planned to progress.

What we've known so far is that Verizon plans to make the switch for all users to VoLTE next year, which will also see the first LTE-only devices. Verizon finished the initial buildout of its LTE network at the end of June, but still has a lot of work to do as far as increasing network capacity before making the move to VoLTE. 

Shammo is now saying that the first VoLTE capable device will launch before the end of this year, but that it will still have CDMA as a fallback. Shammo reiterated that the plan is to have VoLTE ready and turned on across the network simultaneously sometime in the first half of next year. There will be no slow rollout. 

However, this move is very tricky, because VoLTE and CDMA cannot work together. This means if you are on a VoLTE call and you lose signal, even if you have CDMA signal, the call will drop. This is a big reason why Verizon is pushing hard to move everything to VoLTE at once, so you shouldn't lose signal, no matter where you go in the Verizon network. 

Shammo also mentioned that moving to LTE-only devices should mean lower subsidies, but really that just means that Verizon will pay a lower per-device cost from manufacturers. It is unlikely that it will translate to lower costs for consumers. 

source: Droid Life



1. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

And what happens to data usage? VoLTE is basically a variation on VoIP (Internet calling), if I am not mistaken. No more unlimited voice calling, eh? What about the customers with legacy (non-VoLTE) phones? Do they get the middle-fingered wave? If so, AT&T could see an increase in subscribers.

2. rtol1

Posts: 21; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

I was a bit excite about Verizon launching VoLTE, but now that I've read your post I'm pretty worried. I think Verizon and AT&T are going to find ways to desecrate their plans and make customers suffer! I'm also worried how devices with VoLTE service will handle battery life after reading an article posted on Phone Arena a while back which mentioned that phones with such capabilities suffer rapid battery life loss.

5. ollienightly

Posts: 37; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

You are not stupid, are you? There're many ISP's around the world managed to discount data usage (for a subset of their subscribers) towards a number of applications such as Twitter/Facebook/Skype/Youtube. How is discounting ALL data for their INTERNAL server on ONE specified network gonna be difficult?

12. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Have you seen ANYTHING from VZW that states they are going to segregate VoLTE traffic from other data traffic? If so, please provide a URL. But only for official VZW statements. 'Cause everything else isn't from the horses mouth, as it were.

3. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

I'm wondering about the legacy unlimited data plan I'm grandfathered in on. If I buy my own device, instead of through an upgrade, I should be able to take advantage of all the VoLTE I can use, right? Or will VoLTE finally kill that off?

7. Daftama

Posts: 641; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Oh don't I think they said in 2015 if you have unlimited they are pushing you off of it upgrade or no upgrade they will find a way

8. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Guess I knew it had to come sooner or later... 2015 is luckily still a little ways off.

14. Brewski

Posts: 726; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

I still have the unlimited too. Been with Verizon for ten years.

20. Larry_ThaGr81

Posts: 593; Member since: May 26, 2011

We can't rule out them leaving unlimited data users along although I think they will try and make it harder on unlimited data plan users such as myself to upgrade at subsidized pricing. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

19. Larry_ThaGr81

Posts: 593; Member since: May 26, 2011

Right now I pay just below $250 a month for 4 lines, which 3 of them have unlimited data and the other with a 2GB plan. A friend of mine just switched to a shared 8GB data plan with 3 lines and pays $225. Since smartphone lines nowadays for VZW cost $40, adding a 4th line to my friends account would actually have him paying $265 a month. So it seems as though shared data plans actually cost consumers more in the long run than traditional unlimited data plans. Hang in there T-Mobile because it won't be long before you see a wave of current VZW customers heading your way.

21. johnbftl

Posts: 283; Member since: Jun 09, 2012

It would cost you $40 to add another smartphone too. $10 for minutes and $30 for data. Guess what, you would be adding that to your $250. Your friend has unlimited minutes. By my calculations of what you pay, you have 700 minutes. And after that, you're tapped as far as lines on that plan. You need another line you need a secondary plan.

4. johnbftl

Posts: 283; Member since: Jun 09, 2012

They suffer rapid battery loss right now because they need a traditional network fallback. When Verizon completely makes the move to LTE it will do a couple of things. The first thing it will do is eliminate the need for the CDMA fallback, as well as the entire EVDO RevA network. The second thing that will do is lower Verizon's overhead. The cost of operating the LTE network is about 25% that of the CDMA network. That's definitely something that will be factored into the new VoLTE plans. Consider if calls and texts can no longer be sent over the traditional network, traditional plans need not apply. Everything will be data. Verizon will have to change their rates. They are not going to risk a mass exodus by not changing their plans accordingly.

6. ollienightly

Posts: 37; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Actually not "fallback", it's the primary network for voice. You are thinking about CSFB as used on AT&T network. But yes SVLTE actually uses more battery.

10. johnbftl

Posts: 283; Member since: Jun 09, 2012

Did you read the article or just read the comments? The first VoLTE capable phones will still have CDMA capabilities as fallback for locations where VoLTE calls aren't capable. I wasn't referring to LTE to HSPA+ fallback. I work for AT&T I know the difference. As I said before, the reason phones that have VoLTE capabilities use more battery right now is because they are also broadcasting other radios as well. Be it CDMA or GSM. If those radios were removed from the phone it would increase battery life. Think of it like using a bluetooth. When you use a bluetooth device, it decreases your battery life expectancy. The reason being because another radio has been turned on on your device, necessitating more power consumption. It's the same concept when you turn your mobile data off to save battery. A radio has been turned off. Less is more, more is less.

17. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Regardless of all things you are saying, we are talking about Verizon, and you bill will Not go down.

9. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1277; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

So the customers with Share-Everything or Shared Data plans are shown middle finger... Because the calls on VoLTE will be consumed from the Data plan they are using, right???

11. johnbftl

Posts: 283; Member since: Jun 09, 2012

Once Verizon launches these phones that will more than likely launch a new set of plans. LTE operational costs are about 25% of CDMA. With more groups having multiple data devices consider the amount people pay for a share everything plan or mobile share plan compared to a comparable family talk plan. Say you have five people in your group. For some reason you do need unlimited minutes and text. Well off the bat, that's $300. On AT&T or Verizon. Now assuming you're like the normal 97% of American smartphone users, you all use less than 2GB of data per month. So on Verizon or AT&T, that would net you $30 per line. You'd get 2GB with Verizon and 3GB with AT&T. That brings you to $450/month. Well on AT&T that mobile share plan with 15 shared GB/month with unlimited talk and text will now cost you $300/month. That is because of lower operating costs of LTE. It's going to keep changing as companies phase out their old networks and only have LTE.

13. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

You do realize that Verizon is never going to cut costs to consumers to reflect the cost savings of a cheaper LTE network. This will NEVER happen. Verizon will tell you they are recovering costs of the expensive VoLTE roll out, they will tell you they still have to maintain CDMA.. they will tell you whatever, or nothing at all. There will be no mass exit to AT&T either because they are just going to do the same thing. They are in bed together to rape and pillage the consumers for everything they can.. because they can. To top it all off, they will probably continue their CMDA network, because really.. they can't force everybody to upgrade phones. They will probably come up with some new clever pricing structure so Grandma and Grandpa and your kids can keep their feature phones - while costing us more at the same time. Mark my words - This move will fatten Verizon's pockets and shrink the consumers.

15. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I called into the regional president for my area to ask about LTE rollout (haven't gotten it in my area and Verizon CSRs were clueless). I was told, per the team handling the LTE/VOLTE rollout that any tower that's supplying CDMA signal currently will be switched over to LTE. Furthermore, they plan to keep the CDMA network around for another 15 years. I'm sure that's due to the slow adoption rate anytime something of this nature happens, just like when they switched from analog to digital. Some area of my state had analog 10 years after the transition started.

16. johnbftl

Posts: 283; Member since: Jun 09, 2012

Stop being so melodramatic. Verizon and AT&T are already doing it. What do you think mobile share and share everything are? I remember a time when I started selling in the wireless industry. An unlimited calling plan was $200. That didn't include text. There was no such thing as data. As operational costs go down for companies so do prices for customers. Just like when the original 1GB SD card came out it was like $120, now it's like $5. I've come to realize that most of you that post on here are just angry consumers that have never worked in the industry or if you have, have not worked in industry long enough to see it progress the way it has to understand that VoLTE is not to to make prices go up and keep tiered data as low as it is. Carriers are going to adjust their plans accordingly. Keep in mind they also have to combat each other for market share and customers.

18. Larry_ThaGr81

Posts: 593; Member since: May 26, 2011

All of a sudden, T-Mobile is starting to look more and more attractive. If VZW's road map sticks, they will see a big drop in clients, primarily those with unlimited data plans. Those already on shared plans will already be use to having to manage their shared data.

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