Qualcomm chip completes successful voice call handover from LTE to WCDMA


While transitioning to an all-LTE telecommunications model might seem as easy as flipping a switch, there is still plenty of work to be done before networks like Verizon and AT&T move away from 3G for placing voice calls. A key problem has been the ability successfully switch between the 4G LTE network and a 3G network mid call, a capability that will be especially important during the initial rollout of VoLTE (voice-over-LTE). Qualcomm has been hard at work attempting to solve the problem and is reporting the first successful voice call handover from a 4G LTE network to a 3G WCDMA network using the MSM8960 Snapdragon S4 system-on-a-chip. The company utilized a technology known as Single Radio Voice Call Continuity, which allows a phone to switch to move to a WCDMA network upon leaving LTE coverage without dropping a call. Qualcomm will be showing off the advancement at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of the month. Check out the press release below for a few more details.

Qualcomm Chipset Powers First Successful VoIP-over-LTE Call with Single Radio Voice Call Continuity
Successful Completion of a Voice Call Handover from LTE to WCDMA Network Marks Key Milestone in Development of VoLTE

SAN DIEGO – February 02, 2012 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that the Company, working with Ericsson, has successfully completed the first voice call handover from an LTE mobile network to a WCDMA network using Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC). An important technology required for voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) support, SRVCC is a 3GPP specified feature that 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. This milestone occurred on December 23, 2011 with an Ericsson network using a handset which incorporated Qualcomm’s Snapdragon™ S4 MSM8960 3G/LTE multimode processor. A demonstration will be available at Qualcomm’s booth at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 27 – March 1, 2012.

“As LTE networks are deployed alongside 3G networks, the ability for multimode 3G/LTE mobile devices to connect to different network technologies will be an important part of providing the best possible mobile voice and data experience to consumers,” said Cristiano Amon, senior vice president of product management, Qualcomm. “Qualcomm is committed to the successful deployment of LTE networks worldwide in conjunction with 3G networks, and the milestone we’ve achieved with Ericsson is another step towards making VoLTE technology a commercial reality.”

SRVCC is the next logical step in the 4G LTE voice roadmap following the commercial launch of circuit-switched fallback technology (CSFB) on smartphones in 2011. 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. Furthermore, SRVCC and CSFB allow both LTE and 3G network connections to be supported on a single chip, eliminating the need for smartphones to use separate LTE and 3G radios and modems. This allows OEMs to design handsets with lower power consumption and component costs and a smaller size. Given that 3G networks will continue to be deployed in conjunction with LTE networks for quite some time, SRVCC and CSFB are essential to provide a seamless voice experience to customers using LTE multimode handsets once VoLTE is commercially deployed. Qualcomm is committed to ensuring the best voice performance to users in LTE networks through industry-leading CSFB and SRVCC technologies.

About Qualcomm
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) is the world leader in 3G and next-generation mobile technologies. For more than 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment and each other. For more information, visit Qualcomm’s website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.

Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including the Company’s ability to successfully design and have manufactured significant quantities of 3G/LTE components on a timely and profitable basis, change in economic conditions of the various markets the Company serves, as well as the other risks detailed from time to time in the Company’s SEC reports, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 25, 2011 and most recent Form 10-Q.

Kevin Krause
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  1. Cool single chip equals much better battery life than my poor tbolt or as i call it the battery killer.

  2. Awesome.  This is the tech I’m waiting for in my next phone.  Until then, I’ll hold on to my Thunderbolt since there isn’t anything in new phones that I really need.

  3. Can they patent this? Prevent apple from building this into their own chip?

    1. If Qualcomm doesn’t patent this, then Apple will patent it and prevent Qualcomm from offering it for use in anything other than Apple products.

      The US patent system is broken.  One of the ways it is broken is that we’ve switched to a “first to file” system from the former “first to invent” system.

    2. Nope, all they’re doing is implementing a standard.  The only thing they can patent is the specific chip design.

  4. Do us android phans have nothing better to do than to slam apple? I own a GNex, Razor, Bionic(sold), and about 10 other androids dating back to D1 and the incredible 1. We should all be happy there is an apple out there pushing the competition, bottom line is that there wouldn’t be a ICS if there wasnt an iOS. Why can’t we just talk about the advances in android? BTW qualcomm chips suck:-)

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