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VoLTE: Voice Over LTE is Here - What is it, how would you benefit?

Posted by on Mar 13, 2016

VoLTE: Voice Over LTE

Admit it - even you have rolled your eyes when you see your friend or relative calling instead of just shooting you a quick text message to let you know that they are running late or to give you an update on their life. There's a reason people tend to email or send a text message instead of picking up the phone and calling one another these days.

Talking on the phone is a pain. Even if you have decent cell phone reception, calls get dropped, you inevitably have to ask the person on the other end of the line to repeat what they have said numerous times, and it is just not the same as talking in real life. So why not avoid all of that and simply send a text message or email?

But what if your conversation over the phone was as good as if they were sitting right next to you? What if you could enjoy your cup of coffee and blueberry muffin and have a brilliant heart to heart with your best friend, even though they are hundreds or thousands of miles away?

Meet VOLTE, a service that promises to provide just that: Improved over the phone conversations that give you crystal clear connection, making it feel as though the person you're speaking with is sitting right there next to you.

So what exactly is VOLTE or Voice Over LTE?

It literally stands for Voice over Long Term Evolution.

This technology allows for users with compatible phones on LTE network instead of the normal HSPA network. VoLTE promises clearer and more natural sounding audio using lightning fast LTE speeds that weren't previously possible for phone calls.

According to Nokia, VoLTE works by:

"Providing VoLTE, an operator can enhance indoor coverage using Wi-Fi and extend its communication services with WebRTC. Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) and WebRTC use the same IMS core as VoLTE, enabling the same communication and multimedia services." (http://networks.nokia.com)

And, Wikipedia further explains:

"This approach results in the voice service (control and media planes) being delivered as data flows within the LTE data bearer. This means that there is no dependency on (or ultimately, requirement for) the legacy circuit-switched voice network to be maintained. VoLTE has up to three times more voice and data capacity than 3G UMTS and up to six times more than 2G GSM. Furthermore, it frees up bandwidth because VoLTE’s packets headers are smaller than those of unoptimized VoIP/LTE." (https://en.wikipedia.org/)

So basically, when your regular cell phone service is interrupted, your phone will immediately switch over to WiFi coverage without disrupting your conversation. Not only that, but you will be able to browse the web seamlessly while talking on the phone, all the while maintaining lightning fast speeds that won't disrupt either your web surfing or your phone call.

Sound amazing? I thought so!

Which Carrier Carries VoLTE?

Ah, there's the catch.

Unfortunately this service isn't readily available through all carriers as of yet. But, more and more companies are choosing to extend this service to their customers. Here is the latest list that I could find:

• Australia: Telstra
• Canada: Rogers
• China: China Mobile
• France: Bouygues Telecom
• Germany: O2, Vodafone
• Hong Kong: 3, China Mobile, CSL, PCCW, SmarTone
• Italy: Vodafone
• Japan: DoCoMo, SoftBank, KDDI
• Singapore: M1, Singtel, StarHub
• South Korea: LGU+, SK Telecom, Olleh
• Spain: Vodafone
• Switzerland: Swisscom
• Thailand: DTAC
• United States: AT&T, T-Mobile USA, Verizon

With each passing year, this list is expected to continue to grow as more and more consumers come to expect this new and improved audio quality from their cell phones.

As you may know already, many new smart phones today have this ability to use Voice over LTE (VoLTE) signal to transmit calls more clearly and over stronger data signals. However, there may be times that this option is either unavailable in your area, the LTE signal in your area is weak or unavailable, or your cell phone does not have the ability to either utilize the VoLTE option or receive calls from someone utilizing this feature. When this happens, we have found that some people cannot place a phone call. There may be a way to get around this issue if VoLTE does not work.

Apple Support came out with an article recently, educating customers on the use of VoLTE with an iPhone. You can view that article here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203078.

Here are the steps with an iPhone 6 or newer:

1. Go into your iPhone "Settings" app.

2. Go into "Cellular" (should be the fourth option from the top).

3. Go into "Cellular Data Options" (should be the second option from the top).

4. Go into "Enable LTE" (top option).

5. Switch the LTE to "Data Only”.

6. Go back to your home screen and toggle Airplane Mode on and off - this resets your phone to the new settings.

7. Now attempt to make a call. You should now have a fully-functioning phone.

Found through Verizon's website, there was an FAQ section about turning HD Voice (VoLTE) off on Android devices.

Here are the steps for Android devices:

1. Go to "Settings”.

2. Tap "Advanced Calling" under "WIRELESS NETWORKS”.

3. Tap "Advanced Calling" again to turn it Off.

If you have an older device like Samsung Galaxy S5 or Motorola Droid Ultra/Maxx/ Mini, follow these steps to turn HD Voice off:

1. Go to "Settings”.

2. Tap "More Networks" or "Tethering & Networks”.

3. Tap "Mobile Networks”.

4. Tap the "VoLTE Call" setting to turn it to Off.


You can access this setting after you have added the HD voice feature to your account.

"If VoLTE Call" is set to Off, then HD Voice is disabled.

There are only currently only certain phones and carriers that will allow for calls to be transmitted over the 4G/LTE signal. 

Summing Up V.O.L.T.E.:

Yes, amazing and wonderful audio for phone calls is within your reach! Gone are the days of asking the person on the line to repeat what they have said three to five times before giving up in disgust and moving on to another topic. No more sighing with frustration and saying, "Oh just text it to me!". No more threatening to throw your phone out of the car window if it doesn't start behaving and allow you to have a decent conversation on your drive home (Please tell me I'm not the only one who does that)!

Instead, you will be able to enjoy high quality conversations over the phone, enabling you to reach out to your loved ones who aren't within arm's reach. The only downside? You will have to find more creative ways to end long phone conversations with your mother. "Bad cell phone reception" is no longer a viable excuse! I'd go with the standard: "My oven's on fire!" unless she's the type of mom to call emergency services for you! Of course, if there isn't any LTE service where you are, the phone will not work - Which is why we recommend our LTE signal boosters.

And with the majority of phone companies already on board and carrying VoLTE, all you have to do is make sure that you have got a compatible phone! Chances are that you have one already and you're just unaware of it. Say yes, I CAN Hear You Now!!

In addition, for those of you who rely on cell phone boosters to assist with your reception in your house, car, or office building, there's even more good news! Any cell phone booster that states 4G in their name, will also work to boost VoLTE as well! This means that you don’t have to trade in your booster or upgrade to a higher quality. You will still get the same great boosted cell phone reception as you did with your last service!

Overall this system is a win-win-win! For those of you in long distance relationships or with relatives all over the globe, VoLTE will allow you to feel closer to them than ever. All you have to do is pick up the phone and say hello! So stop texting and take a moment to call your favorite person. You might be surprised at how easy it is to reconnect. Talking on the cell phone has never been so enjoyable. It is like the other party is sitting right next to you!

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