What is VoLTE? What does VoLTE mean, how does it work, and what are the benefits? VoLTE is an acronym for Voice Over LTE. Simply put, Voice over LTE occurs when a mobile network allows you to place a phone call over your 4G LTE connection instead of on 2G and 3G networks. It is voice calls made over a 4G LTE network. VoLTE has up to three times more voice and data capacity than 3G technology and up to six times more than 2G.
Voice over LTE enables you to make very clear voice calls with reduced background noise on the 4G LTE network. Which is why is also called HD Voice or 4G Calling, depending on where you are asking.
How does VoLTE work?
4G LTE networks are data only, meaning that traditional network voice cannot happen over LTE. VoLTE (Voice over LTE) is a technology that carries voice over an LTE network, similar to the way VoIP works. On traditional mobile networks, voice is handled via a circuit switched (CS) system. Voice over LTE is the replacement for that.
But the problem is that Circuit Switched and Voice over LTE networks have some incompatibility issues. As such, whenever a traditional voice call is initiated/received on a 4G smartphone, the phone has to switch to 2G/3G to handle it. This is called CS fallback (CSFB). This is also why pegging your 4G smartphone to 4G-only mode means you are unable to receive and make calls.
In future, all mobile network calls will be handled by VoLTE, but only after 2G and 3G have been phased out. For now, the two technologies exist side-by-side on your Voice Over LTE smartphones.
What Are The Benefits of Voice Over LTE?
The benefits of Voice over LTE include better audio quality and lower expenses on voice calls, because the calls happen over your 4G data connection. Voice over LTE or HD Voice also allows you to continue internet usage on the phone whilst making a phone call at the same time, without any interruptions.
Does VoLTE drain battery?
VoLTE is optimized technology to not consume battery any more than EDGE, GPRS, UMTS, and WCDMA do. If you are using a 3rd party app for Voice over LTE though, depending on how well optimized the app is, you might experience increased battery drain. Also, as with all wireless technology, if you are in an area with poor network coverage, your battery will drain faster as your phone does more work to stay connected.
How do I use Voice over LTE?
If your smartphone supports Voice over LTE, you can activate it by going to the phone Settings. Generally, you need to find the Cellular networks or Calls settings in your phone, under which you will find the Voice over LTE or HD Voice or 4G Calling settings, and toggle it on there. Down this article, I have included more specific directions to guide you in enabling it on your different Android phones and iPhones.
Once done, your smartphone can receive voice calls that are transmitted over the 4G LTE network. If your 4G smartphone does not support VoLTE, you can still do VoLTE calls by using a 3rd party app, usually provided by your network operator or carrier. For example, SmileVoice app.
Onwards Voice Over LTE
What phones are VoLTE-enabled?
There are a number of modern smartphones out there with support for Voice Over LTE. They include:
- Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and newer.
- Samsung Galaxy S4 and newer and Galaxy Note 3 and newer
- the most recent Sony Xperia flagships
- Phantom X and newer
- Infinix Zero X, Infinix Zero X Pro, and newer
- a few devices from Motorola, LG, HTC and others
This is a very short list and has only been compiled to provide examples. The catalogue of 4G smartphones and 4G feature phones that support Voice over LTE is much bigger and constantly growing at a fast pace with each passing year.
How to enable or turn on VoLTE on an Android
The specific steps for enabling Voice over LTE or HD Voice on an Android smartphone varies from one manufacturer to another, because of the customisations they make to the operating system. Here are guides for a few options.
- Go to Settings.
- Click on Network & Internet.
- Tap Call.
- Enable VoLTE / HD Voice/ Enhanced calling.
- Go to the dial pad of your phone.
- Tap the 3 dots/menu in the top right.
- Click on Call Settings.
- Tap to enable VoLTE / HD Voice / Enhanced calling.
- Go to Settings
- Select SIM & Network settings
- Select the SIM you want to use for HD Voice or 4G Calling and scroll down to “Preferred network type”
- Select 2G/3G/4G auto as the preferred network type.
- Toggle on “4G Calling”
- Restart your device to complete the provisioning process to start making VoLTE calls.
How to enable or turn on VoLTE on iPhone/iOS Device
- Go to Settings.
- Click on Cellular.
- Go to Cellular Data Options.
- Tap Voice & Data.
- Select LTE
- Toggle the VoLTE slider on
Voice over LTE In Summary
In summary, Voice over LTE is the transmission of voice calls over a 4G data connection. It is the way that voice calls on mobile networks will be handled in the future after all 2G and 3G networks are shut down. Many countries have begun that migration already and are already shutting down 2G and 3G networks.
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Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.