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Verizon preparing to finally launch VoLTE in the coming weeks

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 (opens in new tab)

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • one step closer to truly global phones. 
  • So we can assume this is the reason for the delay of cyan
  • Dont we wish. 
  • +Icon!!
  • We hope
  • i was thinking the same. they probably want to send cyan out with the updates for volte on the icon
  • I've said the same elsewhere as well, eternal optimist and all.  Or at least trying to be. But it does make sense.  They just released a phone (One M8) that has WP8.1 Update 1, which has support for VoLTE.  They are preparing to start pushing the network upgrade very soon.  Why only release 8.1 and Cyan when this is right around the corner and have to retest everything and go through that process twice when you can just wait. Dunno, but it made sense to me ...
  • Yeah, WTF is up with the Cyan delay on the Icon?
  • VoLTE support won't come from Cyan, it will come from an OS update.
  • There OS already supports it, but the carrier has to enable it with an update.
  • They won't release it until October.
  • The article addresses the first think I thought of when I first heard about this. They'd better have far better data plans to make this work otherwise this just turns into a trap to get people to eat up their data faster and rack up charges.
  • It says VoLTE will be minutes based for calls, not "data" based, even though it is data. Since most plans on Verizon are unlimited minutes... Should be good I presume.
  • True but I have a niggling feeling in the back of my head that the way they bill it is not going to last. No company rolls out these sorts of updates without expecting something back and are they really getting anything back if people are just going to use an unlimited plan for this? Sorry, I'm just highly suspicious of carriers and their long history of nickle and diming.
  • I think they are betting in video calls
  • But they are getting something back, LTE it's much cheaper for the company to maintain than the old tech.
  • Yes but you are assuming they will pass those savings on to us instead of doing what many companies do which is take advantage of the fact that most people believe these sorts of changes mean they must pay more because "it's new". I've seen too many cases of companies charging premiums for new tech even though they are actually saving money via the new method. Whatever the case, it doesn't effect me but I am interested in how the technology will push other carriers forward.
  • Most phones need volte software update. Only a handful of phones are capable right as is and its not necessarily the newest ones, I worked doing volte analysis for a major carrier :)
  • Did you like it? Was it reliable?
  • Well I was back end analysis measuring issue rates/causes and inter RAT handover rates , the calls should easily transfer to circuit based 3g/2g if lte coverage gets poor during the call. The thing that's delaying rollout of volte hasn't been technology but all the equipment end to end must be upgraded to be volte capable. I'm sure once carriers fully do volte many phones will get software updates
  • Interesting, it will initially work with users on the same network (Verizon). Calls will drop initially if established on the LTE network and will not fallback to CDMA if you move out of LTE coverage, so the call will drop. Interoperability planned in the future. Sounds like some pain points early on but maybe after a year or two the VoLTE network maybe a good thing.
  • Me looking at the live tile: "Verizon finally preparing to la... DAMNIT!"
  • +Icon, haha.
  • When I first heard about VoLTE I was excited about it... Then I realized both phones have to be on the same network for it to work. Excitement faded.
  • The Engadget article mentions that VoLTE calls will be billed as both minutes and data while this one mentions they will only be billed as minutes. Which version is correct??
  • Video is billed in data, voice is billed in minutes. So a VoLTE video call bills in both, a VoLTE voice-only call would only bill in minutes.
  • How about releasing cyan update yet.... Come on Verizon never thought they were this f***** terrible at releasing a freaking update. I'm done with Verizon!
  • your phone not working without cyan?
  • You obviously haven't had Verizon for very long. They are the worst at timely updates!
  • Ok if you say so....i have been with them long enough to know that threatening to leave and stomping my feet doesn't get the update out any
  • Totally agree with badger8080, some features like sensorcore and smart bluetooth would make my Icon so much better...
  • I'd like to use video calling a little more, especially when you need to find something your old lady told you to get and make sure its the right shit.
  • If it involves a Windows Phone, VZW will screw it up.  6 weeks and still no sign of 8.1 Cyan.  They have been late with every update since they started selling Windows Phones.  WP and WP Customers are clearly not a priority for them.
  • At least the m8 already has the corresponding os update now all it may need or already have is it enabled in the fw/os
  • Except for when I had the 928, we got them before att. Although this is my first time on Verizon coming from att.
  • Great. Now I can get the iPhone 6 on Verizon and have voice and data at same time.
  • Boo hiss.
  • They still don't have that? Hahaha!
  • Verizon recently added 1GB of data to the monthly plan and after reading this now I understand their generosity. Maybe they're working on the background because my phone signal has been 3G since. :$
  • F big Red with the delay of Cyan ].  Come May 2015 and I am taking my business to AT&T.  Done with big red SOB.