Even if you don't talk on the phone a lot, VoLTE is going to be a thing that you want. Replacing the old 3G standards for voice will mean one less radio always sucking down power in your device when you're in an LTE area. Verizon (as well as other carriers) is already testing VoLTE on some of its devices, and it apparently also intends to build video calling into VoLTE-capable phones as part of its so-called "Advanced Calling 1.0" initiative in the coming weeks.


Unlike the video calling systems built into Hangouts or Skype, VoLTE video calling will be part of the contact list in phones. So if someone can receive a VoLTE video call, you'll see an icon next to their name and get special in-call buttons to change the camera options. However, this will only work in LTE areas with VoLTE-enabled phones on both ends. The audio portion of VoLTE video calls will also support HD voice.

Verizon isn't ready to say when VoLTE will become the standard for phones on its network, but hopefully we're not far away. For now, phones will be getting software updates here and there to enable VoLTE with video calling.

[Verizon Wireless]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • ProductFRED

    Lol, on a carrier that doesn't offer unlimited data. This should be good.

    • Steve Freeman

      On one hand I agree, but on the other, not a lot of people I know actually call people that often. Mostly it's text or email.

    • flosserelli

      Yeah it will be interesting to see if VZW considers this voice or data...but I think I already know the answer.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

      ...do they even do wifi calling yet? First things first people.

    • http://www.technogeekguy.com dswartze

      Unless VoLTE traffic doesn't hit our data, but remains on minutes.

      • Rob

        I honestly see the concept of "minute-based voice calling" eventually going away. When VoLTE is the standard mechanism for transporting wireless communications, I feel as if the carriers will offer either capped or unlimited data (for non-call transactions) and some type of add-on, premium or metered service for "calls" including video calls. That said, I could be wrong too.

        • h4rr4r

          No way.
          They will still sell unlimited minutes for $40/month. All that will change is they will pocket even more profit.

    • DanSan

      If you read their press release

      "HD Voice will be billed according to your existing calling plan." Basically it will use your minutes, but you can bet that the video chatting with most likely go against your data.


      • flosserelli

        This article is regarding video calls, not HD voice calls.

        • DanSan

          No that link is regarding both. if you click the link, left side under HD VOICE, last topic.

          • ProductFRED

            I have HD Voice (Voice over LTE) currently on T-Mobile. As of now it does not support native video chat. Voice over LTE is just a normal call using LTE. That doesn't count against any data caps because it uses a negligible amount of bandwidth. Video from both ends however, will consume a high amount of bandwidth. I HIGHLY doubt they wont' count this against data caps, or at the very least offer it as a separate plan add-on.

          • flosserelli

            Ah, I didn't read your entire comment.
            Yes, HD voice will be billed as voice and video calls will probably be billed as data.

  • AgainAndABen

    The video calling portion still will never catch on, because it relies on the VoLTE technology. Hangouts/Skype/Facetime are all "signal agnostic", so I can use them whenever and wherever I want, as long as I am on the internet somehow.

    • Ihavenewnike

      Dies VoLTE run data.

    • Jason

      VoLTE is the reason that it WILL catch on. It will eventually be a feature in every 4G phone, and the user won't need to do anything but press a button to switch to video mode. No apps to install and no accounts to sign in to.

  • http://usamaisawake.wordpress.com usamaisawake

    I've only briefly searched but I came up with nothing. Is there a place where we can hear the difference between a VoLTE and current-gen (for USA) voice calls? It would be great to experience what we can expect in the next 5 years.

    • flosserelli

      The Verge already tested a current VZW phone over VoLTE. I didn't read the article, but it is there if you are interested.

      • http://usamaisawake.wordpress.com usamaisawake

        Thanks, just read it (though TheVerge is now down). They claim it's much better. I just wish there had been audio samples too. But thanks again!

    • ProductFRED

      Grab any recent T-Mobile phone. Call another T-Mobile customer with a compatible phone while on 4G or LTE. HD Voice is not Voice over LTE. It just happens to be that on Verizon you need for the latter to use the former.

      On T-Mobile there is a noticeable difference.

    • Blake

      I can't find the demo I heard a few years ago, but holy shit the difference is night and day. It really is unbelievable. You'd never know that person isn't literally just talking right next to you. I bet on a high end phone someone could have a call on speaker phone and have you not realize that person wasn't actually in the room.

    • enoch861

      It's literally a night and day difference. Here's an article with samples:



  • Rick Fisher

    So what does this mean in the steps towards unlocked phones working on verizon? As I recall part of Vzw getting the bands they got from the FCC was that they have to allow unlocked phones to work on them. Right now they don't because they still rely on cdma for voice. Is this a big step away from that and towards another Vzw Nexus?

  • Paul_Werner

    Ben's face in the screenshot on the right looks like it belongs on a beard trimmer box. Either that or he's just showing off the depressed face of every Verizon customer when they get their monthly statement

  • ImDatNukka

    With all the features and amazing things today's phones can do, it kills me that these cell companies charge so much for so little data. They add all these features, all these data heavy features, and offer small data plans. Watch YouTube, stream music, video chat, and play games online on a consistent basis, and ur data will be used up in a week. Tired of watching how much I use these services and always looking for WiFi to get the best experience instead of looking at pixelated vids because HD would burn through my plan.

  • JT3

    So let's see if I understand this correctly... Verizon has towers that are so congested with data that they need to throttle their "Unlimited Data" customers (but not those who are actually paying for 10+ Gigs), and now they're going to implement VoLTE, which uses even more data. Interesting.

    Don't get me wrong. VoLTE is the future, and I can't wait for it (even though I'm no longer with Verizon), and I know that once the entire network is VoLTE, it will free up the voice portion of the spectrum, which will help to reduce congestion, but I also know that they can't do that until ALL of their phones are VoLTE capable, which realistically isn't going to happen for several years, so initially, as it starts to catch on, the bandwidth is going to suffer, but that's okay, because, according to Verizon, they have plenty to handle it. I just find the hypocrisy amusing.