T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray (that's him above) today announced that it's bringing voice over LTE — that's VoLTE — to Seattle for three Android smartphones. The lucky winners are the LG G Flex, Samsung Galaxy Light and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
This piggybacks off MetroPCS' VoLTE implementation, and it works just like it sounds. Instead of phone calls going through the traditional circuit system, they'll be placed over the LTE network. It's not all that easy, and it's just now starting to roll out. But it's an important step.
If you're interested in the dirty details, here's how Ray put it:
VoLTE calls will be carried over IP on our LTE network instead of a circuit-switched path on our 4G HSPA+ network. This is advantageous because your phone stays on our wicked fast LTE network to make a call. The tricky bit in all this is the smooth mobility between our various radio layers. Enhanced Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (eSRVCC) is a new LTE Advanced function and we're excited to be the first to deploy it in the U.S. All of this basically helps ensure that your capable phone won't drop a call if you leave an LTE area and it switches to 4G HSPA+ or 2G coverage.
If you've got either of those three Android devices, look for a software update to turn on VoLTE. And then move to Seattle.