Qualcomm's Snapdragon on track for Voice over LTE

The company has hooked up with Ericsson to enable support for both voice and data on LTE "4G" networks.

Qualcomm Snapdragon.
Qualcomm Snapdragon. Qualcomm

Qualcomm, along with Ericsson, has successfully completed a major hurdle that will enable Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE).

The technology, called Single Radio Voice Call Continuity, or SRVCC, enables continuity of service by seamlessly switching to a WCDMA network when a consumer on a VoLTE call leaves the LTE network's coverage area, Qualcomm said.

Qualcomm and Ericsson have completed the first voice call handover from an LTE mobile network to a WCDMA network using SRVCC.

A Snapdragon-powered Ericsson device, using Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 3G/LTE multimode processor, will be on demonstration at Qualcomm's Mobile World Congress booth, Qualcomm said.

Ultimately the goal is to have one less modem chip to worry about and therefore slimmer, less power-hungry LTE phones.

And how is this achieved? An acronym-packed backgrounder is provided by Qualcomm.

"SRVCC is the next logical step in...4G LTE voice...following the commercial launch of circuit-switched fallback technology (CSFB) on smartphones in 2011. Circuit-switched fallback technology (CSFB) allows a single radio in the handset to dynamically switch from an LTE data connection to a 3G connection when the user needs to make or receive a call. Similarly, SRVCC support enables a single radio in the handset to execute a seamless handover of a voice call from an LTE network to a 3G network."

And SRVCC and CSFB allow both LTE and 3G network connections to be supported on a single chip. The upshot: no need for separate LTE and 3G radios and modems. And that means handsets with lower power consumption that are more compact--and have a lower component cost.

"This new development eliminates the need for a second modem chip, thereby reducing the cost and even size of future 4G/LTE handsets. Clearly, this will make future high-performance smartphones more attractive to consumers," said Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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