Verizon preparing to finally launch VoLTE in the coming weeks

By Rich Edmonds on 26 Aug 2014 08:56 am EDT

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

Reader comments

Verizon preparing to finally launch VoLTE in the coming weeks


The article talks about video calls being charged by the minute. But is that cheaper than video chatting using their data plan and a chat app?

Frosty White Q10/

For most in the U.S., yes. Verizon's most popular More Everything plan has unlimited minutes.

VZW STL 100-4 currently running

Anyone know if the current release of Bb10 supports this? Ie will my Z10 even use it?

Posted via CB10

If the Verizon Z10s are like TMO Z10s in that they have IMS capability, and IMS is the implementation by Verizon, then yes. But Verizon gets to decide which handsets can do it, regardless of capability.

Yeah my dad has a iPhone 5 or 5s and when he calls me it's in HD and sounds amazing

Posted with my z10 stl100-2 running10.3.0.1052

The Sprint Q10 supports Sprints HD voice. But it's not over LTE that I know of.

Posted via CB App from my Galaxy S4 Mini with an LED CrackLight ;-)

"Calls will still be billed through minutes"

Does that include video calls?

VZW STL 100-4 currently running

It depends on what access requirements Verizon puts in place. If they're doing an IMS based system, the phone should be capable, but it's ultimately up to Verizon.

Hopefully. And I hope that this will allow simultaneous voice and data use which Verizon can't do currently (unless on wifi)

Verizon Q10 running on CB10. [URL="bbmc:C0004F9BB"] My boring channel but has cute Frenchie puppy pics :) [/URL]

The comment about no voice and data simultaneously is completely false I've had that for years it only works though if you have LTE but it is there

Verizon has finally joined everybody else and allows simultaneous voice and data over the cell network. If I'm not mistaken, though, you have to have a 4G capable device. Which, if you have a Z10/Q10/Z30, you're good to go. I actually had to use mobile hotspot and voice simultaneously just yesterday because my internet service was out, and it worked brilliantly without a hiccup in either service.

No blondie this is pretty much like tmobile WiFi calling. They just renamed it funny. Video calls have always been and may always be data dependent.

Posted via my STA100-5 z30

It'ss the next natural step in technology.

Someday there willl be only dat. The voice / text / data concept will be gone from a billing / plan perspective.

But, I am concerned that this is another way for them to shift the carpet and get more $$$$ and provide less.

And, I don't want to take for granted that the voice quality is going to be good. Prioritizing voice traffic can be tricky. While verizon learns, quality is going to suffer.

Posted via CB10

I'm guessing people's call data and content is also less protected under this new classification.

I thought so, too.

All the more reason for BBM / BBM Protected.

 BlackBerry? I premdict the future's gonna be chenomenal! 

I sometimes wonder if the technology gives a true enhancement or if some of these technologies provide merely a marginal improvement. VoLTE may give clearer sound, but if I can hear my caller just fine on regular service, how much improvement am I really getting? Is it like driving a fancy sports car downtown where I look all flashy, but I can get the job done just as well with a regular car? That sports car looks nice, but man does it cost a lot.

Posted via CB10


Yeah I have to admit that the quality of sound over BBM voice makes me use it way more often than voice calls altogether. It makes regular calls feel lacklustre.

But I'm wondering if the carriers really require that schmancy sound when they need to focus on QoS for data first. Ping times can vary on LTE especially on a highly congested network with limited spectrum like VZ.

As well, what is going on with POTS? Isn't there a law requiring POTS to always be available within the NA numbering system? I know this is a mobile fan site but we should know our BlackBerry devices are coming down when there's a natural disaster and it hits the towers. POTS might too but there's still a level of trustworthiness to it. Are they upgrading that to "HD Voice" too? VoIP fails if your data service is slow at uplink and we need POTS for reliable E911.

Posted via CB10

VoLTE is not VOIP. It's a protocol that is cross-carrier compatible, and works around the problems with VOIP entirely.

If anything this makes a phone more reliable, because now there are 2 ways to make an analog phone call: using VoLTE or using the prior "3G" tech, either GSM or CDMA.

Posted via CB10

More dropped calls dye to no automatic switch. How will the coast to coast thing work for VoLTE?

Posted via my Z10 on CB

I was thinking that too, and thought will this help in making cross platform BBM video possible? Not sure, I think all BBM (bb) devices using video chat all go through data now, so only marginally hopefull.

Nope. BBM video is app specific. Right now BBM video will only work blackberry to blackberry. If BBM video ever goes cross platform, it won't care how it connects as long as it has enough available bandwidth for the call whether it be wifi or carrier connection. When I had my q10 with sprint, when not on 4g it wouldn't allow BBM voice or video calls. The feature automatically enabled itself when wifi or 4g was detected.

Posted via CB10

The comment about no voice and data simultaneously is completely false I've had that for years it only works though if you have LTE but it is there

Posted via CB10

This will be voice and data over LTE. Previously, as you pointed out, it used to be voice on the CDMA radio, data in LTE.

Unless the user has an iPhone. Even on the 5S, it doesn't support simultaneous voice and data on Verizon due to lacking a required antenna.

It's impossible for a Verizon iphone 5 or 5s to do simultaneous voice and data over cellular. Its an antenna issue. There is only one radio in the phone and it can't do cdma for voice and lte for data at the same time. Just google iphone verizon simultaneous voice and data, you will learn all about it. Now you can do wifi and voice simultaneous.

Posted via CB10

Luckily I won't have to deal with this high tech wizardry for years to come since I'm on T-Mobile USA.

Posted via CB10

Actually, TMO has rolled out voLTE in some large markets already. If you are in those places, and have a Z10, Q10, or some other voLTE capable handset, you should be seeing it. Not available on the Z30 or Q5 though.

Wow, I didn't know this. I hope Verizon Z30 has it. That'll give me more reason to leave T-mobile

Posted via CB10

I was on the VZW website yesterday and Z30 was missing from the BB line up, maybe sold out to make room for PP. but I would have guessed that the Z30 would have this feature as it is currently the flagship device, ah well its got every goddamn thing else. Well everything I need anyway.

I just now looked and I can't find the Z30 on VZW web site either. I chatted with a sales rep and was informed the Z30 is no longer available.

Kay: Hello, welcome to Verizon Wireless sales chat! My name is Kay, may I have your name, please?

John: John

Kay: Hi John!

Kay: We no longer offer that phone.

John: why?

John: I also have other clients that want to buy it

John Hanks: it is one of the highest rated phones on the market

Kay: It was discontinued a few months back.

Kay: I've been having quite a few customers asking about it.

I don't think Verizon wants to get burned with excess BlackBerry inventory anymore. They probably ditched the Z30 in preparation for carrying the Passport.

If you have a z30 with Verizon, confirm this. Go to settings, network and connections, under connectivity services see if you have ims status. Click it. Mine says connected but the option to turn ims services on is grayed out. The description under ims services say "voice, video calling, and rcs using LTE enhanced services"

Posted via CB10

Is VOLTE not the same as HD calling?
I sometimes get clearer calls and my display on my Z10 Shows HD when I'm in call? In Canada, on MTS.

Posted via CB10

I have a feeling that they will exclude those of us with the grandfathered unlimited data plans.

Posted via CB10

Two ways of making money in business, first is increase revenue, second is to decrease cost. Verizon spends billions a year on network costs with a majority of it on LTE. When they can off load that voice traffic normally used on their CDMA network they can eventually (2020 something) shut that network off. While providing a superior product. In the mean time they can reduce capacity where it's not needed. They also still own that spectrum... so what else can they implement with it? Verizon is not thinking short term (how do we increase data usage) that's why it will simply use minutes. Also VO-LTE should work through WIFI as well. How many of you make and receive calls while connected to a WIFI network? See the savings...see the revenue go up?

Posted via CB10

No all phones on VZW's network will be CDMA compatible for the foreseeable future. Anytime you have multiple bands of frequency on multiple technologies (see EVERY US carrier) you need the CDMA network for fall back even if everything was up and running perfect. However it's just being launched so down the line yes. For the next few years all phones should handle both. Your probably not seeing a Verizon variant because it has not leaked yet. VZW has been the only carrier to offer all three BB10 handsets that have been available in the US. I don't see any exclusives being offered. At&t mobility just spent a lot of money to not sell the Fire phone. T-Mobile burnt the BlackBerry bridge. (yes that sounds like a place in Candyland) So that leaves two CDMA carriers Sprint and VZW and one GSM carrier. I assume all three will carry it sooner or later.

Posted via CB10