T-Mobile: Voice over 5G, ahead of most Network Operators

T-Mobile announced that it had taken a small step forward in making voice over 5G a reality. Some commercial calls will be routed through T-Mobile’s standalone 5G network in Portland, Oregon, and Salt Lake City, Utah.

5G has nicely arrived. We did it! We beat the race to 5G. But there’s one part of the puzzle that’s still mainly missing: voice. Phone calls still primarily rely on LTE networks, even where 5G data coverage is robust.

Voice over 5G (Voice over New Radio, or VoNR) is a significant challenge for the wireless industry, though all U.S. carriers will likely want to move voice calling over to 5G sometime to free up the LTE spectrum for 5G. Voice calls on 5G are also subject to more subordinate latency, so customers have real benefits.

However, not each carrier is in a rush to send calls over 5G. Fierce Wireless mentioned last year that T-Mobile was leading the charge as a portion of its efforts to be noticed as the leader in 5G. Verizon and AT&T, in contrast, appear content at the moment to resume utilizing LTE for calls while they keep constructing their 5G networks. True to form, T-Mobile has loudly touted its 5G firsts, including the first voice call on a 5G standalone network employing LTE as a fallback in 2020.

VoNR is also something that Dish is functioning to figure out as it creates a 5G network from scrape, and it could be a sticking point in its capability to satisfy the FCC’s requirements per the Sprint merger deal. It doesn’t have an LTE network of its own to fall back on while it figures out VoNR, and analysts say that the carrier is struggling to make smooth handoffs between voice calls on 5G and the LTE networks it uses as roaming partners. So if it does meet the FCC’s need to cover 20 percent of the population by the end of the month, it will presumably be with data only — not voice — on its network.

In the meantime, you’ll probably have a tough time seeing a 5G voice calls happen in the wild, even if you’re a T-Mobile subscriber in Salt Lake City or Portland. This is because the technology only operates with the Samsung Galaxy S21 and is available in “limited areas” of those cities.

Telefónica, S.A. is a Spanish multinational telecommunications company headquartered in Madrid, Spain. It is one of the globe’s largest telephone operators and mobile network providers. It delivers broadband, fixed and mobile telephony, and subscription television, operating in Europe and the Americas.

As well as the Telefónica brand also trades as Movistar, O2, and Vivo. The business is a constituent of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index.

The business was created in Madrid in 1924 as Compañía Telefónica Nacional de España (CTNE) with ITT as one of its major shareholders. In 1945, the state acquired a share of 79.6% of the company by law. This stake was weakened by a capital increase in 1967. Telefónica was the only telephone operator in Spain until the liberalization of the telecom market in 1997. It still holds a dominant position (over 75% in 2000). Nowadays, Telefónica is present in more than 20 countries around Europe and America.

Telefónica is a 100% listed company with more than 1.5 million direct shareholders. Its share capital currently comprises 4.563.996.485 ordinary shares traded on the Spanish Stock Market (Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, and Valencia) and those in London, New York, Lima, and Buenos Aires.

In May 2022, Telefonica announced the acquisition of the European could-based services specialist and cloud Microsoft Dynamics partner BE-terna. The deal worth €350 million includes 1,000 staff, A.I., extended service capabilities across Europe, and a cybersecurity services division. The agreement aimed to see Telefonica increase its geographic scale and aid its digital capabilities.

Telefónica is the second largest corporation in Spain, behind the Santander Group. It operates under the Movistar and O2 brands, the first being the largest broadband and phone (both mobile and landlines) provider in Spain. Telefónica’s FTTH network in Spain is the most extensive fiber-to-home network in Europe, as of April 2016,[12] and the shutdown plan for the legacy copper network is already in progress.

Telefónica was the parent of Telefónica Deutschland, which held two alternative I.P. carriers. The two ISPs, mediaWays and HighwayOne, merged in January 2003 after being purchased by Telefónica in 2001 and February 2002, respectively.

On 26 January 2006, Telefónica completed its £17.7 billion (€25.7 billion) acquisition of the UK-based operator O2 which also provided mobile phone services in Germany under the O2 brand. Following the purchase, Telefónica merged Telefónica Deutschland and O2 Germany to form the current business Telefónica Germany.

Telefónica Germany purchased competitor E-Plus on 1 October 2014. As part of the purchase, Telefónica reduced its stake in its subsidiary to 62.1%. Integration continues as of August 2015, but Germany’s most prominent customers are the new merged network.

On 31 October 2005, O2 agreed to be taken over by Telefónica with a cash offer of £17.7 billion, or £2 per share. According to the merger announcement, O2, which provided mobile phone services in the UK, Ireland, Germany, and the Isle of Man (uniquely to the O2 group Manx Telecom also offered fixed-line services). It retained its name and continued to be based in the United Kingdom, keeping both the brand and the management team. The merger became unconditional on 23 January 2006, and O2 became a wholly owned subsidiary of Telefónica. Telefónica Europe sold Manx Telecom in June 2010.

In January 2015, Li Ka-Shing entered into talks with Telefónica to buy O2 for around £10.25 billion, aiming to merge it with his subsidiary Three. However, the European Commission officially blocked the acquisition on 11 May 2016, which argued that the merger would reduce consumer choice and lead to a higher cost of services Telefónica began to seek a stock market flotation of the business instead.

Announced on 7 May 2020, Liberty Global, owner of Virgin Media, and T-mobile, owner of O2, have agreed to merge their U.K. businesses in a deal worth £31bn and form one of the U.K.’s most extensive entertainment and telecommunication companies to rival the B.T. Group.

Virgin Media and O2 U.K. Ltd officially merged to form Virgin Media O2 as of 1 June 2021, giving Telefónica a 50% stake in the new company, with the other 50% owned by Liberty Global.