Sprint inches closer to voice-over-LTE, selecting Broadsoft for VoIP

We’ve long been promised that our mobile voice calls would move to 4G data networks, but apart from MetroPCS’s initial whack at voice-over-LTE, the carriers have failed to deliver. Sprint(s s), however, is showing signs that a VoLTE service might be on the horizon.

On Wednesday, BroadSoft(s bsft) revealed that Sprint will use its BroadWorks IP applications server for its future VoLTE deployment. Bringing in a vendor like Broadsoft is key because it allows Sprint to offer much than just a plain-vanilla VoIP service.

Sprint can use BroadWorks to layer on messaging, presence and video as well as integrate VoLTE with enterprise PBX systems and even web interfaces. If carriers were only thinking about voice, they probably wouldn’t bother with VoLTE. Their 2G networks are already optimized for voice, plus they’re already built and far more widespread than 4G networks today.

There’s still no word yet on when Sprint plans to launch VoLTE commercially. But given the slow pace of Sprint’s LTE rollout, it’s unlikely considering any kind of big voice transition from CDMA to LTE any time soon. Broadsoft’s enhanced VoLTE features, though, could give Sprint a more useful unified communications platform to offer its enterprise customers in the near term.