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AT&T announces rollout of voice-over-LTE ahead of likely iPhone 6/iOS 8 integration this fall

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 6.28.09 PM

<a href="">iPhone 6 physical mockups on the right</a>

United States-based carrier AT&T today officially announced its rollout of voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) calls. The VoLTE rollout comes in tandem with AT&T HD Voice launch, which provides better sounding phone calls. Starting on May 23rd, IllinoisIndianaMinnesota and Wisconsin will be the initially supported markets for these features, but AT&T says to expect a more complete rollout as time goes on:


Hacked AT&T carrier update claims to enable HD voice (wideband audio) on iPhone ahead of official rollout


AT&T already announced plans to turn on HD Voice, aka, wideband audio support, later this year through a carrier update for iPhone users in the US. Today, iTweakiOS announced an update for one of its hacked carrier profiles that it claims will allow AT&T users to access HD Voice, as well as the recently announced CMAS government and Amber alert update, ahead of a full roll out of the feature later this year.

This hack fixes the reported issue of unstable HSPA+ speeds/signal and iPad users having trouble updating and losing all signal. This hack enables, along with the previous enabled features, HD Voice for all iPhone models running on AT&T so users can now use the UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+ network for HD qaulity calling on their 4S and 5. This hack also enables Release 7 HSDPA speeds for the iPhone 4S, giving it a new maximum theoretical downlink of 21Mbps, which AT&T does indeed support. Signal improvements from the previous release have not changed and are still present in this release along with unthrottled LTE and HSPA+.

Apple has actually supported the feature since the iPhone 5 launched last fall, but only around 20 international carriers currently support the feature. Unfortunately, the HD Voice feature, even with the hack, won’t yet work for all users, as AT&T is still currently in the process of rolling out support: Expand

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Newly discovered Cirrus chip in iPhone 5 could explain enhanced audio features


When Apple introduced the iPhone 5, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller noted a number of new methods being used for noise cancellation from solutions using the device’s third microphone to an updated “noise-cancelling earpiece” and the addition of wideband audio. We know from reports earlier this month that Apple is not including noise cancellation technology from Audience, as it did in previous iPhone models. While we do not know exactly what powers the iPhone 5’s enhanced audio system, Chipworks discovered a second Cirrus chip being used in its recent teardown:

Audio chips from Cirrus.  We know that Audience announced that they no longer have the noise cancellation and we were hoping we could get a little insight as to what is being done in the iPhone 5. Unfortunately, without a little more depth than a die photo can provide the best we can say  is that Cirrus has two design wins related to the audio (one of which we originally guessed to be a memory MCP). One has some fairly large transistors and a whole lot of logic. If someone out there knows what the Apple package 338S1077 is we would be happy to report it. Starting here may be a good place.

  • Apple 338S1077 Audio CODEC. This is a wafer-scale device by Cirrus Logic.  They have long held this private-label package with Apple.
  • Apple 338S1117 Cirrus Audio Chip

It is very possible that Apple’s new, in-house noise canceling technology uses this new Apple-branded Cirrus chip. Expand

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Sprint confirms no wideband audio support for iPhone 5

While Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller notably left out U.S. carriers when talking about the iPhone 5’s enhanced wideband audio at Apple’s event yesterday, we get clarification today from at least Sprint that the feature will not be supported. PhoneScoop reported that Sprint’s “HD Voice” service works on CDMA x1 technology, while the iPhone 5 and many other carriers around the world use WCDMA networks for the feature. Apple said the wideband audio feature would be available through 20 carriers at launch, but it only mentioned Deutsche Telekom and Orange.

(via TheVerge)