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Thread: Sprint Official VoLTE launch Near - Note 9 to finally get VoLTE

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeuten View Post
    I’ve read on reddit and S4GRU that the iPhones before the 8 have a different SIM card SKU that doesn’t support IMS programming which means no VoLTE for those phones. They say it would be too much work to get it going this late so there’s no point in bothering.


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo
    and yet they work just fine on Verizon's VoLTE, AT&T's VoLTE, and T-Mobile's VoLTE. Why does Sprint not just switch over to the same VoLTE standard that everyone else uses? Not only do they choose to use some non-standard VoLTE, they are also the only provider that chooses to lock SIM's to IMEI's.
    Personal: Sprint Apple iPhone 6s (A1688) on Sprint Post Paid SERO Premium SWAC Plus running iOS 13.3 with Sprint 40.0 and PRL 55071 and modem firmware 7.30.02 and SIM card version 63.09a
    Work: Verizon LG G2

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    Quote Originally Posted by techguru View Post
    and yet they work just fine on Verizon's VoLTE, AT&T's VoLTE, and T-Mobile's VoLTE. Why does Sprint not just switch over to the same VoLTE standard that everyone else uses? Not only do they choose to use some non-standard VoLTE, they are also the only provider that chooses to lock SIM's to IMEI's.

    It is the same standard but a phone interfaces not just to a standard but more specifically to different implementations of that standard by each individual carrier. You can be quite sure that Apple's VoLTE code has many special cases and adaptations for each major U.S. carrier. Just think of issues like handoff between Wifi Calling and VoLTE as one easy example. Interfacing with carrier feature enablement by account is another. Also error recovery, performance metering etc etc These are not specified in detail in the standard and will vary by carrier.

    These all have to be tested in field tests on each phone and updates have to be made in a development cycle to revise the Apple code until it is acceptable. Sprint uses different equipment vendors in different areas and each has to be tested separately. This is extraordinarily expensive.

    Also they would have to revise their entire sim architecture as has been mentioned, or issue new sims for those older phones.
    Last edited by comintel; 12-11-2019 at 12:01 PM.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by comintel View Post
    It is the same standard but a phone interfaces not just to a standard but more specifically to different implementations of that standard by each individual carrier.
    ...
    ...
    Also they would have to revise their entire sim architecture as has been mentioned, or issue new sims for those older phones.
    I 100% agree, but Sprint didn't implement the RUIM/SIM in a thoughtful manner, nor did they properly plan for the future.

    • Recognizing a RUIM looks like / acts like a SIM (but isn't quite), I'll only compare to Verizon who also used the RUIM for CDMA backward compatibility. Every Verizon device worked with the same model RUIM (SIM) card.



    • Then came VoLTE -- the other 3 rolled it out with the iPhone 6/6S generation -- that's 4+ years ago. So Sprint is 3-4 years behind, but didn't have the foresight / capital investment to include VoLTE in their initial LTE implementation.


    At this point, I would agree with not going too far back, especially since CDMA is going away. They could put the iPhone 6S (6?) & later on VoLTE as soon as they allow T-Mobile SIMs to be issued post-merger (assuming T-Mobile's network works for the customer).

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    There's nothing special about VoLTE, it's a well established standard. Do not mix that with WiFi calling, because that is not part of VoLTE.
    Sprint lacks the interconnection capacity with the other carriers. And probably the capital to invest in equipment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post
    There's nothing special about VoLTE, it's a well established standard. Do not mix that with WiFi calling, because that is not part of VoLTE.
    You don't implement just a pure standard alone, your implementation has to cover all required interfaces as well, including in this case to Wifi Calling handover, to Carrier performance monitoring, to user interface etc etc. And its in those interfaces and customizations that the problems come up, not in the code that implements the pure standard itself.

    These need to be customized, tuned, and tested by carrier and by phone model because each phone has somewhat different support code reflecting different chips used, different antennas, etc.
    Last edited by comintel; 12-17-2019 at 10:18 PM.

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    Nope, it doesn't have anything to do with WiFi handover. WiFI calling is a totally different thing...
    Also is so hard to do that RepublicWireless did it 6 or 7 years ago - on Sprint network!!!
    Customization? What customization? It's in the Android code already!
    Different antennas? What that has to do with VoLTE? If you have data then you can have voice over that data, it's that simple... Google Voice works over data doesn't?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post
    Nope, it doesn't have anything to do with WiFi handover. WiFI calling is a totally different thing...
    Also is so hard to do that RepublicWireless did it 6 or 7 years ago - on Sprint network!!!
    Customization? What customization? It's in the Android code already!
    Different antennas? What that has to do with VoLTE? If you have data then you can have voice over that data, it's that simple... Google Voice works over data doesn't?
    The issue we were discussing is, should it have been a slam dunk to make VoLTE work in older Apple phones such as iPhone 6 and 7. (Sprint supports it only in iPhone 8 and higher).

    There is a heck of a lot more to VoLTE than just voice over data.

    Just on the technical aspects you mention, which are not the main point, the phone has to be able to pass a call from WifiCalling to VoLTE without dropping it. That is just one small example of dozens of issues that have to be tested on each supported model. Back-tested if you wish. And the hardware limitations of each model are a factor because VoLTE may tax the hardware more than CDMA voice and performance has to be good enough.

    I am sure that there are better technical examples but the point is only that it is NEVER trivial or cheap to retrofit (and especially test) features to older models. Testing always costs a fortune!

    Even if Sprint made the determination solely on the basis of support costs or even marketing considerations, that would not be all that unusual. New features very commonly simply do not get supported on older phones.

    That is what Sprint and Apple determined in this case. That is the choice they made for their service offering. Those who do not like it can buy a new model or switch to a different carrier or just not use VoLTE. Or the merger may go through and solve it because they should be able to use the TMobile network..
    Last edited by comintel; 12-17-2019 at 09:01 PM.

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    You are talking like this is some cutting edge technology that nobody could figure it out by now.

    Not only that the other big guys (Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile) that had VoLTE since 2014, but even MVNO's like Trafone has VoLTE (yes, on their CDMA plans) since 2015!
    And the title of this thread was about Note 9 - that's not an iPhone I think? But anyway, VoLTE works on Tracfone's iPhone 6 and 7 for at least 3 -4 years!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post
    You are talking like this is some cutting edge technology that nobody could figure it out by now.

    Not only that the other big guys (Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile) that had VoLTE since 2014, but even MVNO's like Trafone has VoLTE (yes, on their CDMA plans) since 2015!
    And the title of this thread was about Note 9 - that's not an iPhone I think? But anyway, VoLTE works on Tracfone's iPhone 6 and 7 for at least 3 -4 years!
    It was not I who raised the complaint in this thread about older iPhones not being supported. I was just responding to the person who did. It is not that I totally disagree with that poster, but I was saying that there are reasons to limit the scope of any major upgrade (even if the upgrade is late). Maybe they can add the older iPhones later, I do not know. It will probably mostly be beside the point if the merger goes through.

    Tracfone does not have a network - they just use other people's networks. They just push paper. (Well, a little more than that, but mot much).

    I think that overall Sprint has done a good job with this major upgrade so far, especially given their highly constrained capital situation.
    Last edited by comintel; 12-18-2019 at 03:18 PM.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by comintel View Post
    The issue we were discussing is, should it have been a slam dunk to make VoLTE work in older Apple phones such as iPhone 6 and 7. (Sprint supports it only in iPhone 8 and higher).

    There is a heck of a lot more to VoLTE than just voice over data.

    Just on the technical aspects you mention, which are not the main point, the phone has to be able to pass a call from WifiCalling to VoLTE without dropping it. That is just one small example of dozens of issues that have to be tested on each supported model. Back-tested if you wish. And the hardware limitations of each model are a factor because VoLTE may tax the hardware more than CDMA voice and performance has to be good enough.

    I am sure that there are better technical examples but the point is only that it is NEVER trivial or cheap to retrofit (and especially test) features to older models. Testing always costs a fortune!

    Even if Sprint made the determination solely on the basis of support costs or even marketing considerations, that would not be all that unusual. New features very commonly simply do not get supported on older phones.

    That is what Sprint and Apple determined in this case. That is the choice they made for their service offering. Those who do not like it can buy a new model or switch to a different carrier or just not use VoLTE. Or the merger may go through and solve it because they should be able to use the TMobile network..
    Just curious as to how Verizon who is also a CDMA provider was able to have VoLTE at the launch of the iPhone 6?

    Sprint always has excuses for why they are always behind, but none of their excuses seem to be valid..


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    Quote Originally Posted by CircuitSwitched View Post
    Just curious as to how Verizon who is also a CDMA provider was able to have VoLTE at the launch of the iPhone 6?
    Sprint always has excuses for why they are always behind, but none of their excuses seem to be valid..
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    One reason among others is that Verizon is more constrained on spectrum than Sprint is and so needed it more and was prepared to pay the costs involved earlier.

    The prime motivation for adopting VoLTE in the first place was probably more efficient use of available spectrum and capacity.

    There was no huge user demand for it at that time.

    I imagine it was cheaper to do it later rather than earlier, as equipment costs for it fell.

    I think it is probably healthy to have a competitive market in which different carriers offer different capabilities at different price levels so consumers can choose to pay more or less as they wish, although it is only recently that consumers began to know about VoLTE in particular.

    Another reason is that Sprint VoLTE running on band 41 TDD is necessarily a substantially different implementation from FDD used by other U.S. carriers that I gather was not ready at the time the FDD implementations were.
    Last edited by comintel; 12-20-2019 at 10:00 AM.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by comintel View Post
    One reason among others is that Verizon is more constrained on spectrum than Sprint is and so needed it more and was prepared to pay the costs involved earlier.

    The prime motivation for adopting VoLTE in the first place was probably more efficient use of available spectrum and capacity.

    There was no huge user demand for it at that time.

    I imagine it was cheaper to do it later rather than earlier, as equipment costs for it fell.

    I think it is probably healthy to have a competitive market in which different carriers offer different capabilities at different price levels so consumers can choose to pay more or less as they wish, although it is only recently that consumers began to know about VoLTE in particular.

    Another reason is that Sprint VoLTE running on band 41 TDD is necessarily a substantially different implementation from FDD used by other U.S. carriers that I gather was not ready at the time the FDD implementations were.
    Verizon at the time of VoLTE launch had far more usable spectrum. Sprint has 51 MHz of spectrum below 2.5 GHz... if we trim that down to usable FDD, 40 MHz. 5x5 MHz for SMR 800, and 15x15 MHz in PCS. Verizon has 114 MHz. Trimming that down to usable FDD, 90 MHz. 10x10 MHz for 850, 10x10 MHz for 700, 20x20 MHz in AWS, and 10x10 MHz in PCS. Verizon also had usable density for VoLTE paired with a nationwide 10x10 MHz 700 MHz channel, so VoLTE was an easy choice for them to make... especially seeing how awful their call quality was before it.

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  13. #28
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    VoLTE allowed simultaneous voice and data on their network (without having to have special phones with 2 radios to do it). So helped competitively. Along with the other advantages.
    iPhone 11 is my current primary phone. I have older model iPhones and Moto phones available on other lines. Currently prepaid, though would consider postpaid on right plan.

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    The following list was posted elsewhere today by a Sprint technical staff person as to additional phones that, "among others", are planned to get VoLTE.

    Samsung J7 refine

    LG v40 Storm

    Samsung Galaxy S9

    LG G7

    Samsung Galaxy S9+

    Samsung Galaxy Note 8

    Samsung Galaxy Note 9

    Samsung Galaxy A6, J3, LG K30, LG Stylo 4, Sonin XP8

    Motorola postpaid C+ devices

    "Work was renewed on getting these devices (and others) to VoLTE after work was halted which one can see in Samsungs newest beta firmware releases which have VoLTE as an option."

    Obviously this was NOT an official Sprint announcement but it shows what some current plans are and that they are starting to unfold (with the announced Jan 3 release of the V40 beta with VoLTE support, for example).

    Note: The only reason I started this thread is to pass along important information to current Sprint users of these phones. I would really suggest people could use other threads, not this one, to discuss broader aspects of Sprint's approach to VoLTE, so that this thread can be useful for its intended purpose of keeping track of Sprint phones likely to get VoLTE, for the benefit of users who have those phone models.
    Last edited by comintel; 01-03-2020 at 10:41 AM.

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