The VoLGA (Voice over LTE via Generic Access) Forum officially launched today, a joint effort dedicated to bringing voice and SMS services to future LTE networks. As reported last week, operator T-Mobile is part of the initiative, joined by vendors Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, Kineto Wireless, LG Electronics, Motorola, Nortel, Samsung, Starent Networks and ZTE. According to a statement, the Forum will “define a set of specifications… for enabling delivery of voice services over LTE access networks based on the current 3GPP Generic Access Network (GAN) standard.”
LTE is a next-generation mobile technology already experiencing significant momentum and is expected to be introduced by the likes of Verizon and NTT DoCoMo from 2010. LTE is intended to enable data rates many times faster than the high-speed mobile broadband connectivity already offered by today’s HSPA and EV-DO networks. Although its proponents often focus on the improvements to data speed, question marks remain over the best way to provide voice capability. VoLGA Forum participants are currently working to create an initial set of VoLGA specifications which they intend to complete and publish by mid-2009. The aim is to specify and promote an approach for extending traditional GSM and UMTS circuit-switched services over LTE access networks, enabling LTE operators to deliver voice and messaging services using the same core networks they use today to provide voice services on 2G/GSM and 3G/UMTS radio access networks.