The GSMA has adopted the technical profile for voice over LTE (VoLTE) standards developed by the One Voice Initiative, an international collaboration between more than 40 operators and vendors, including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent.
The One Voice Initiative was formed to support a single, IMS-based voice solution for 4G networks. The GSMA said it will spearhead the development of domestic and international roaming technology for LTE networks. Work on the GSMA's roaming technology project is expected to complete by the first quarter of 2011.
"The GSMA recognizes the importance of a single, industry-wide solution for voice over LTE, and by adopting the work of the One Voice Initiative, we will advance the creation of a global, next-generation wireless ecosystem," GSMA chief technology and strategy officer Alex Sinclair said. "As mobile operators begin to deploy LTE, it is essential their networks are aligned around one common standard for voice and messaging services, for the benefit of the mobile industry and consumers alike."
LTE networks require an IP-based solution to incorporate voice and SMS technologies onto the network, and there has been some debate in the industry about the best method to deliver voice over LTE.
Those backing rival technology Voice over LTE via Generic Access (VoLGA) argue that circuit-switched fallback to legacy networks is an inadequate measure to get to IMS, the agreed-upon method for handling voice over LTE. VoLGA supporters want to see their technology adopted as a long-term interim step before carriers adopt IMS.
So far, the VoLGA initiative has failed to gain much momentum and only has a single operator member, T-Mobile in Germany. The 3GPP does not support VoLGA technology in its specifications and maintains circuit-switch fallback followed by IMS as the ultimate path to voice over LTE.
The GSMA said it has "widespread industry support" for the One Voice VoLTE initiative and expects additional organizations to join over the coming year.