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Expect to Pay for Voice over LTE Soon

I don't think anyone needs a crystal ball to know this, but I fully expect AT&T, Verizon Wireless and others in the USA to join in on what is going to be a when, not an if. It's about paying for calling over mobile data networks vs. the free ride we now have.  Look at what just happened in South Korea. This will only happen more as LTE rolls out, as the quality of calls on LTE is vastly better than over first generation GSM 3G or CDMA, and markedly better than on HSPA+ networks due to spectrum allocation and better handsets and tablets.

We already know about TeliaSonera's efforts, the blocking of VoIP and Skype on Yoigo in Spain and the way Skype is blocked on GoGo flights in the air. The technology is out there, and now operators are saying, "you can talk, just pay for that" as the call revenue is erroding away from their overall minutes.

This is clearly, the shape of things to come and I don't see anything wrong with it. Just do the math, see if you really save money, make more use of WiFi and you'll end up ahead....don't do the math, burn up your data plan and avoid WiFi and you'll see how much you lose.


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But we don't have a free ride on cellular data. Almost every carrier charges overages, or throttles your connection after a certain amount. You pay for the data you have, and restricted in how you can use your device (such as hotspot tethering). This is not a free ride.

Personally, I think the carriers should support UMA (compliant with GSM-3G, and LTE) and offer it as a "freebie" to allow use to make voice calls over a wifi connection. Drop the minutes, and SMS and allow these to go over data. However this will not happen.

If the carriers do block SIP/VOIP apps over their network, it would make their service less functional. It may even start to enrage customers especially since Verizon brags that loved ones can use Skype to keep in touch. The more data you use, the more they get to rip us off on overages.

Personally, I use wifi most of the time. However, I have GrooVe IP on my Android phone to allow me to have voice calls through GTalk which unknown numbers ring too. It runs on my T-Mobile 3G connection, and I doubt the carriers are going to start blocking voice on LTE services. Simply put, the network if configured properly should handle it, and they get to rape more of our money on it.

As for Skype blocked on GoGo flights, while I never fly - I can only assume the bandwidth on a flight is much smaller than the land based systems. High quality bandwidth requires 128kbps - and if 1MBPS is available for 100 people - of course block it. Even if 10MBPS was available for 100 people. And do you really want 30 people hollering at the significant lover they love to hate about something they did on a plane?

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