T-Mobile Wants Smartphone Manufacturers to Add Support for VoLTE and E911

by Istvan Fekete on August 31, 2015

T-Mobile wants smartphone manufacturers who include Band 12 support to also support Voice over LTE and E911 capabilities, a company spokesperson has said to FierceWireless, clarifying earlier rumours claiming the carrier was forcing OEMs to drop support for its 700 MHz A Block spectrum using LTE Band 12.

An earlier Android Police article claimed that Motorola had dropped support for Band 12 in the new Moto E because it didn’t support VoLTE, hence it didn’t meet T-Mobile’s requirements.

In a statement sent to FierceWireless, T-Mobile spokesman Viet Nguyen explained that T-Mobile is not asking smartphone manufacturers to pull Band 12 support. Instead, there are some requirements that need to be met in order to use LTE Band 12. Unfortunately for Motorola, it didn’t complete T-Mobile’s VoLTE and E911 certification processes, so the manufacturer decided to drop Band 12 support.

“We are all about giving customers the best wireless experience possible. That includes the latest and greatest devices, with the latest technology,” T-Mobile said in a statement to FierceWireless. “To ensure a high level of quality in all of our devices, we require every device go through a rigorous certification process.

“Specifically, we require phones using Band 12 on T-Mobile to support E911 and VoLTE in order to be certified on our network,” T-Mobile added. “We do this in the interest of our customers’ overall experience and safety.”

For smartphones running on T-Mobile’s network, it’s essential to have support for VoLTE and E911, because in a scenario when it is out of range of both a Band 12 signal and other T-Mobile spectrum bands, it would not know how to roam by default on other carriers’ networks, and 911 calls might not go through as a result. This violates FCC rules and potentially threatens public safety.

Of course, smartphone manufacturers decide themselves whether or not to support Band 12, but if they do, they must add support for VoLTE and E911. T-Mobile, however, hopes that OEMs will choose to support these features and get certified on its network.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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