Verizon to launch VoLTE Soon

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It appears that Verizon’s VoLTE (or voice over LTE) service might be launching nationwide before the end of the year, and, while the service looks pretty cool, Verizon has been extremely shy about nailing down any specifics about when we will get it. Fierce Wireless reported that Verizon has been talking about VoLTE services for more than two years. Yikes. Makes me wonder what kind of technical problems they are having to fix and whether or not the service is going to be reliable when it finally DOES launch.

AT&T and T-Mobile have already launched their VoLTE services and the reception seems to be pretty decent. Sprint is rumored to be launching their own VoLTE sometime early next year, but I haven’t seen any actual announcements. Verizon had better get on the horse and make something happen before they find themselves the only carrier without VoLTE.

But, Verizon’s VoLTE service has a few catches. For VoLTE to be available, both customers have to be in the Verizon 4G LTE network coverage era and both must have VoLTE-enabled smartphones from Verizon. And, while Verizon hasn’t released an official list of devices that will be VoLTE compatible, Fierce Wireless reported that the carrier has been seeding the market with VoLTE ready phones for some time and these phones will simply need an update to use the service. Of course, there aren’t any specifics as to when that will happen either.

VoLTE, in case you don’t already know, is designed to simplify video calling and provide HD voice calling–what Verizon is calling Advanced Calling 1.0. With this service, customers will be able to call and receive both voice AND video calls without having to open a second-party app. Switching between voice and video during a call is simple, with just the tap of a button.

From how it sounds, there isn’t going to be an additional cost to use VoLTE. Voice calls will come from a user’s normal minute bucket while video calls will use data and Verizon estimated a minute of video calling will only use 6 – 8 MB of data. If you have no idea how much that is, we’ll do some quick math. There are 1025 MB in a GB, and we’ll estimate 7 MB per minute of video calling. So for 1 GB of data, you could be on a video call for about 2 hours and 45 minutes. For 500 MB of data, you could make 70 minute video call. Depending on how much data you have, video calling might not be something you’d want to use that much. But really, if you want to do a video call for 1+ hours, using WiFi is probably a better bet anyway.

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