Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Verizon Says VoLTE is On Its Way!

Verizon Wireless recently announced that it would be launching the much talked about VoLTE (Voice-over-LTE) service in the coming weeks. This means customers will soon experience clearer phone calls and even a FaceTime/Skype-like video chat service.

VoLTE is like HD voice service, so it’s like comparing a vinyl record to an MP3. Even the video service has evolved a bit - you’ll be able to make or accept video calls right from the phone section, no having to open a separate app to do so. Even better yet, Verizon doesn’t plan on charging anything extra for these services - your device just has to be capable of supporting it. While video chats will count towards your data usage, HD phone calls will still count as regular calls, just as they do now over the CDMA network.

Until VoLTE, Verizon and other cellular carriers have used circuit-switched networks to transmit voice calls over and customers use the newer IP-based 4G LTE network to access the Internet and other data services. VoLTE service enables wireless operators to use the data network to transmit voice services in the same way they transmit data. In doing so, they are able to offer high quality voice calls, and overall, a more efficient operation because once the old spectrum is freed up, it allows the companies to use it to deploy more high-speed data services.

Naturally, there are some limitations. Both services will only work when calls are placed between two Verizon customers - as long as each one has a VoLTE-capable phone, AND they are within Verizon's LTE coverage area. Users who do have VoLTE capable devices will also have the option to turn this feature ON or OFF. You would think all users would want to try the service if possible, but because it’s so new and may be prone to issues, Verizon wants to give customers the choice.

Unfortunately, no actual date has been released for the launch of the service, nor the devices that will initially support it - BUT, a couple representatives from Verizon did demonstrate the services on an LG G2.

With this update, it’s no surprise that AT&T and T-Mobile have already announced their own VoLTE services. Both Verizon and T-Mobile are planning nationwide launches, but AT&T's service will only be available in a few select markets.