updated 06:55 pm EST, Wed November 4, 2009
One Voice initiative aims for interoperability
A long list of cellular providers and manufacturers, including players such as AT&T, Verizon, Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Siemens, Ericsson and Samsung, have all agreed on standards for voice calls and SMS messages distributed across LTE networks. The companies have collaborated on a technical profile, the One Voice initiative, that aims to ensure widespread compatibility between different products.
By agreeing to a common set of standards, the companies are working enable international roaming and interoperability for the upcoming technology. A statement released by Nokia claims the initiative will "avoid fragmentation of technical solutions."
Further collaboration will be necessary to orchestrate a smooth transition from GSM and CDMA to LTE. Several companies have already announced LTE broadband modems designed to take advantage of the additional speed capabilities. Testing has also begun for voice calls and SMS messages on commercial base stations with standards-compliant software.
The first LTE deployments are expected in select locations by the end of this year, while Verizon suggests it will begin the service in 2010 and AT&T is waiting until 2011.