Verizon Wireless is officially joining in on this year’s major new cellular network technology: Voice over LTE, or “VoLTE.” VoLTE allows voice calls on compatible smartphones to be made over the previously-data only LTE network technology. This allows for higher-quality, better sounding (“HD Voice”) phone calls to be placed. The rollout will occur “later this year”, or “in the coming months” depending on which part of the press release you believe:

The next evolution in wireless calling will be available for Verizon Wireless customers in the next few months. VoLTE – or Voice over LTE – is slated to roll out on Verizon’s nationwide network later this year. Choosing a national rollout on the nation’s largest 4G LTE network, Verizon can deliver a seamless customer experience for high-quality calling and other features. From the beginning, Verizon’s VoLTE service will offer an HD Voice experience, using the AMR-wideband standard, the accepted industry norm for this service. This solution provides the best voice quality available now and allows for future interoperability with others using the standard.

Verizon is not the first U.S. carrier to jump on the VoLTE bandwagon. Less than a week ago, AT&T announced that it will begin rolling out VoLTE in select markets this month and more markets later this year. Other major U.S. carriers Sprint and T-Mobile already have VoLTE/HD Voice support.

So, why is this important? Because sources say that Apple is developing integration for VoLTE into the next-generation iPhone and iOS 8, which are both expected to be released this fall.

Another significant addition being considered for iOS 8 and the next-generation iPhone is voice-over-LTE support (VoLTE), according to carrier sources. Currently, when an LTE-capable iPhone needs to make a phone call, the actual call is placed over last generation networks such as 3G. With VoLTE, calls will be transmitted over the same type of network that LTE data is processed through, and this can allow for benefits such as improved call quality.

That means that iPhone users will start getting even higher quality calls depending on their network of choice. Verizon also teases some video chat related VoLTE features, and sources say that FaceTime’s backend is due for a significant update alongside the iPhone 6 and iOS 8, so perhaps all of these enhancements will work together:

Verizon’s VoLTE will also offer video calling options, including making and receiving video calls directly from contact lists. As part of the VoLTE video calling experience, customers have the ability to change their calls instantly from voice-only to voice and video. The rollout also sets the stage for future enhancements through Rich Communications Services (RCS), which enable things like including large file transfer, more robust group messaging, and more location sharing.

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14 Responses to “Verizon rolling out VoLTE in ‘coming months’, could bolster iOS 8 FaceTime”

  1. Maybe I missed it, but does this mean we’ll be able to be on a call and use data at the same time?


    • VoLTE is like VoIP. VoIP stands for voice over Internet protocol, which allows you to make phone calls using your Internet connection. This is simply a mobile version of that same technology. Allowing users to use data to make a phone call rather than minutes. The reason people are supporting this technology is that it allows for a wider bandwidth, increasing call clarity, improving reception and providing a more lifelike voice. Currently, Apple offers a face time audio calling solution which is only able to use Wi-Fi. VoLTE would expand on this feature. It could also allow people to switch between A regular phone call and a FaceTime call without disconnecting. As it stands, if you are within a Wi-Fi zone and allows you to use your phone without incurring any charges from your provider. However, data tends to be much more expensive than minutes or texting.


      • Sure, roll this technology out, now that they have everyone on data plans that have max limits before you incur huge charges for going over data caps. I see nothing wrong with call quality now. Not to far in our past, these phones were not even in existence and we managed on much worse and dare I say maybe even BETTER call quality. This is marketed as a “look what we are doing for you now” when in reality it is “look how much we will make on data overages”. I hate to be a negative Nancy but they are milking us all…


  2. I believe that VoLTE will also enable simultaneous voice and data on Verizon.


  3. Does this have any impact on simultaneous voice + data on Verizon, which currently isn’t possible?


  4. Wasn’t Sprint doing this with the Evo 4G like 3 or 4 years ago? It’s taken a long time.


  5. I hope that they add the dual band features like the galaxys have we can do voice at data at the same time on verizon. VoLTE is really cool thing to have but again id love to be able to do voice and data on the go.


  6. Brian Rashad says:

    This just means a even higher Data bill..


    • Not necessarily. It is yet to be seen how Verizon will bill for VoLTE. It is likely, given their current penchant for “Unlimited” plans, that they will not count “voice minutes” bits against data allotment. That would be trivial to do at the packet level.

      The interesting stuff will come when Facebook and others then petition the FCC over network neutrality grounds. Because when voice becomes data (which is effectively what VoLTE is), then the carriers create themselves some “common carrier” problems by giving their services a free pass to the detriment of competitors. (See back to the FaceTime controversy with AT&T and VZW.) (Also now understand why Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, et al are so very interested in voice and messaging platforms. Right now Verizon/AT&T owns your Dialer, but in the near future that monopoly will be gone.)


  7. jw154j says:


    …What’s new in (5C/5S), #4: New LTE support

    …Both new models have identical carrier support, shifting from iPhone 5’s three hardware models to four versions of the iPhone 5s (A1533 North American GSM/CDMA for AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon; A1453 Sprint/Japan CDMA with additional support for LTE bands 18 & 26; A1457 for Europe lacking LTE bands 4/AWS, 13, 17, 18, 19, 26 but adding 7; A1530 for Asia/Pacific, identical to Europe but adding support for China Mobile’s TD-LTE bands 38, 39 and 40, also used in Australia).

    There’s now support for many more LTE bands than before, allowing broader global compatibility with new, additional carriers. There are some potential features Apple isn’t supporting: one is simultaneous CDMA voice while using LTE data (which would require dual radios, as a few higher end big phones have). Apple does have support for VoLTE, which puts voice calls on the LTE data network, but most major carriers haven’t yet rolled out support for this.

    Apple also supports “wideband voice,” which uses more wireless cellular bandwidth to deliver a higher quality voice call. This also only works on a few carriers, as each company builds out its own technologies and support for various available standards (there’s so many to choose from!)…


  8. SLLS (@SLLS) says:

    I too am very interested to know if this FINALLY mean that I (as a verizon customer) can use data & phone service simultaneously?


  9. As a point of clarification… Neither T-Mobile or Sprint have VoLTE. T-Mobile was the first to launch HD Voice, yes, but over UMTS last year in January. Sprint recently did as well on their 1x Advanced network. They’re 2 different things. HD Voice is just the trade name of the voice encoding and can be used on legacy networks, while VoLTE is actually carrying that over LTE and offering RCS services.


  10. samantha williams says:

    I really think this is a good thing. When I read about it here [ http://blog.buyverizon.com/verizon-communications-inc-volte-service-is-finally-here ] I was pretty excited. Thanks Verizon

    Liked by 1 person