updated 11:10 am EDT, Sat March 24, 2012
Apple recruits with VoLTE-friendly IMS in mind
Multiple job listings at Apple this week have hinted that Apple is getting ready to support Voice over LTE, or VoLTE. Telephony software engineer positions ask for experience with IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), the foundation for VoLTE's purely Internet-based calling. They're also asked to know related technology, such as the common VoIP protocol SIP as well as real-time transport (RTP).
While speculation has been raised that Apple would use the switch to pure IP-based networks as an opportunity to implement its own format for voice calling, the recruiting is likely just in preparation for carriers implementing VoLTE themselves. Apple often prefers to develop its own technology when it can, but it will also need to support the same voice standards as other devices and offer at least some cooperation with carriers.
We have tested VoLTE ourselves, and it provides a noticeable improvement over traditional CDMA, GSM, or UMTS (3G) voice calls. The quality is closer to that of a good Skype call than conventional cellular.
VoLTE is still being finalized, but the first devices could be as ready as soon as late 2012. Most American carriers working on VoLTE have been aiming for 2013, which could give Apple enough time to implement the standard in future iPhones. [via LightReading]