Verizon Wireless today announced that VoLTE (Voice over LTE) will be available on the network nationwide in the coming weeks. Customers with the US mobile operator will soon be able to make higher quality calls (and video calls) with other subscribers on the same network with compatible 4G smartphones. The plan is to slowly roll out the upgrades across the board to compete alongside AT&T and others, using LTE for not only super-charged data but also higher quality calls.

LTE calling will vastly improve the user experience, so long as they remain in LTE coverage. Should LTE connectivity be lost during a call, it won't automatically fall back to a standard call. For VoLTE to really take off, Verizon needs to have all traffic flowing through its network with enough infrastructure in place to support the vast number of calls being placed. For the time being, Verizon notes that phones will be able to automatically select which route to use when placing a call, be it VoLTE or the old tech.

Verizon also plans to offer interoperability when it comes to HD calls, meaning a subscriber on Verizon would be able to video chat with a friend on T-Mobile. Calls will still be billed through minutes, while everything else will fall under data, so it's worth considering just how much data you may use - we sure hope the network will revise allowances on available plans. It's not currently known what hardware will be updated to support VoLTE on Verizon, but we can bet that new smartphones will be compatible as the company continues to push through advanced calling.

What do you make of VoLTE? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Verizon Wireless

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Reader comments

Verizon preparing to finally launch VoLTE in the coming weeks


The key to all this is interoperability with the other carriers. Though with Verizon that has always been an issue. Heck they even gimp their phones so that sharing bands can be a hassle. Lets see if they follow through.

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So you said that if LTE is lost the call won't drop back to the standard service!? So that means the call will drop?

However, if you live in an area where LTE is "iffy", you can choose not to use VoLTE. So it's not that big of deal right now. I'd be willing to bet that they are working on getting soft hand-offs to work.

"Should LTE connectivity be lost during a call, it won't automatically fall back to a standard call." 

What will happen? Will the call drop?

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No what will be problematic is they have announced they want to turn off the 3G components at a point. When that happens all calls are VoLTE and you will be able to watch your battery life die just like slurping a soda. ATT, T-Mobile, and Sprint have no plans to do this AFAIK. Now granted this isn't this year or the next, but its still stupid until battery life really picks up, which it isn't....

All networks eventually will honestly ... It just won't be for a long time. Verizon said they will turn 3g off but I believe it isn't till 2021? So .. You have a good long while till that is done :).

I thought it was 2019 but, either way, that's still a long time for VoLTE to mature and improve. As to the comment about call drops and travelers, just continue to use standard CDMA as your used to (VoLTE use is optional)... problem solved.

There is for now. I'm sure once interoperability & soft hand-offs to CDMA are perfected there wont be a need.

Im in an lte extended area in which most of the time im Uber lucky to have one bar of 3g (note3)......vzw can take their volte and shove it. BTW, what happens to a call that falls off the LTE grid? Is the call disconnected???

Same here. Owners of Samsung devices and their lousy radios/antenna tech should definitely consider "downgrading" to a Moto device. My Note 3 is better than my GS3 was but still far short of my old Moto handsets for RF performance.

I have absolutely no desire to make a video call (audio is just fine). Not sure how much better the voice quality could be, it's always been pretty good on the old CDMA network. :)

Another carrier rushing the latest bleeding edge out the door just to make a few whining l-users happy.

VZ better hope they have all their towers eCSFB ready or there will be alot of dropped calls.

It wont. Remember XLTE? That's an admission that they initially built a bad LTE network, because you haven't seen AT&T sling some marketing name over adding more bandwith to LTE, that's because they didn't need to.

How so? Beacuse they were able to provide customers with LTE service on a single band for 4 years. Just because they added another band doesn't make their deployment bad. AT&T uses three scattered bands (2,4, and 17). So does Sprint (25,26 & 41) aka Spark. Verizon uses just two bands (4 & 17) nationally to provide complete coverage.

You're missing the point of LTE: Long Term Evolution. As in there will always be improvements to the standard, and along with that the time it takes for carriers to deploy the network and manufacturers to make the devices. VZW's original LTE network was the best it could be at the moment with the LTE phones it was looking to support shortly after.

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Revise allowances on available plans? HAHAHAHA! The only thing those crooks will do is introduce a new lower point of entry (like the new 2GB + unlimited text/data for $60 plan with the $15 overages) in order to suck more $ out of their users.

Also, my Note 3 spends as much time in EVDO as it does in LTE so it's not really like anyone with a Samsung device will benefit greatly from this unless you're in a great coverage area.

So video calls will be counted as calling minutes instead of data? That is interesting...especially considering how VZW discourages users from actually using their network.

Umm.... Yes.

I remember reading somewhere (I thought on here) of some current devices that were speculated at getting the service.

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Hope there is a new logo Verizon 4G VoLTE slapped on front and back of all crappy Verizon phones.

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Mmm, similar but not the same. My M8 switches to LTE/CDMA when I use WiFi calling so it's similar. Thank you Dan and Dr. SAW for my WiFi calling AND HTC for an 'Automatic' network setting. I really don't miss the SVDO.

How would VOLTE work when you are on Wifi? Will it still use LTE for VOLTE if you are in a LTE area on Wifi?

There is no way to fall a call over from LTE if the network gets iffy.
Call setup in the network is very different. Voice over LTE is essentially an IP call where your IP address will be mapped to your phone number.
So the call will drop.

Battery life, as long as the LTS signal is okay should not suffer.
My phone can stream for hours over LTE and not have issues. (LG G3).

There is no reason to not roll out Voice Over LTE.

While I am not a Verizon customer, I definitely give credit to them for helping advance the mobile tech here in the US.

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2019 and 2021 we will have 5G by then he'll they have been testing it for a year now. We are still years aways but it will be around 2020

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So I wonder how many months will pass before Verizon announces that calling and everything else will be charged as LTE DATA. You all know this is going to happen. I bet the details of this are on page 878 of their internal documents right now.