USA: The Coming 3G Voice Apocalypse

  • @Flohack No, they really are forcing everyone to upgrade to a 4g VoLTE or 5g phone accross the board in the N. American market. 2g/3g voice service will be cut off by 2022 across the board.

    It's all about the big push for 5g services and is being driven by the industry with the government's blessing. They want the bands for 5g, and spectrum sharing hasn't worked out. So... bye bye 2g/3g.

  • Hmm this is bad news. VoLTE is a proprieatary technology mostly, there is no documentation so we have no clue what to do for it. Its communication between the ril daemon and some Android services, but its highly cryptic. I am not sure we ill be able to provide quick solutions there.

    It might be on the other hand that some devices default to VoLTE being switched on already from boot. You might notice this with a higher audio quality in calls.

  • in case that someone is curios...
    @Flohack , but as you said, if the software is proprietary, then is Scheiße

  • @Flohack Now you understand why i've been so hot on VoLTE. Fortunately, at least on the Nexus 6P, the current radio is set to default VoLTE first - and I am getting calls via VoLTE. A later radio blocks VoLTE on the N6P because Verizon made Google remove that access as part of an exclusive handset deal with the Pixel phones, but I know how to re-enable it. So it won't be a problem unless halium gets upgraded to a much newer build. It may limit my network options though because of blacklisting. But i'm in a t-mobile area anyway so i'm good, and unless they change their mind, AT&T had the N6P as good. Only Verizon may be a problem in that regard.

  • @Flohack I also think I know how to enable Wi-fi calling - the radio is set to try WiFi calling first, VoLTE second, then the old carrier switched 2g network, but it needs account info set up in the dialer. But the dialer doesn't seem to allow any account to set up despite the feature being in the app. So, kind of stuck there. And it could be that some other handshake has to happen that UT doesn't do, so it may not work, but I can't find out for sure either way because of the dialer account thing.

    The other option is to go with a data only sim and use all Voip which of course gives you calls over data no matter whether on cell or WiFi - and therefore the equivalent to VoLTE and WiFi calling. And explains why I've been asking so many questions about voip and UT.

  • Hmm if you can share technical details of VoLTE implementations please go ahead 🙂 We need such informations.

    Re WiFi calling: This cannot work with current state of UT. YOu have to imagine we need a whole new middleware service that actually does the whole lifting of connection management, and voice call routing. WiFi calling does not happen in the modem, and the current dialer/telepathy-ofono/ofono/rild stack is the only one you have. Any calls ends up just in RILD. And thats not what you want in WiFi calling.

    I am afraid WiFi calling will still take a few years, no joke. Its just smth we to reverse-engineer completly. You need sources of the IMS daemons and services.

  • @C0n57an71n That list is not totally accurate regarding the Nexus 5. Yes, it has hardware capable of 4g VoLTE. But, because the US and EU carriers insisted that VoLTE phones have automatic 2g/3g fallback, google did not create a VoLTE capable radio software for the N5 - because having first generation VoLTE hardware it lacked the physical ability to automatically fallback to 2g/3g voice.

    However, that was not a problem in the chinese market where they were using only 4g anyway. So there is a radio for that market that is VoLTE enabled. If someone knows how to re-package that radio build for the american/euro market, VoLTE could be enabled.

  • @Flohack That's what I was afraid of - regarding WiFi calling, another handshake needed to move the call from cell to WiFi. Unfortunate.

    I've collected a lot of info on VoLTE and WiFi calling specs but none of it actual code. Just the agreed on specs of how it all works. Have no idea if that can help you, but i'll post links.

  • @Flohack I found something maybe useful. Actual code for how to enable VoLTE/VoWiFi on phones with qualcom modems.

  • @nontrivial
    Hello all, also Deutsche Telekom annouced on 18.09.2020 the shutdown of 3G in Germany mid 2021 (planned date: 30.06.2021).
    This date seems to be in line with the planning of Vodafone for Germany as well.
    O2 might support 3G until end of 2020.

    Further details can be found here:

  • Remember that this does not affect calls. Its only about mobile data, so the only thing you need to have on the radar is the fact if your device is 4G-capable. Ubuntu Touch will continue to work as today.

    Only removal of 2G will require VoLTE-capable devices and operating system.

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