Ready or not, Verizon will be launching its VoLTE network (voice over LTE) this year. We just do not know exactly when it will be happening. Over the summer? Near the end of December, just in time for Christmas? Who knows! But what we do know is that Verizon will be utilizing VoLTE for video calling as well. Two VoLTE-enabled device are necessary and Verizon will give callers the option to use voice or voice with video. The launch of the VoLTE network will be done in a rollout format, meaning that you may have to wait longer than anyone else. After all, Verizon does intend on making this a nationwide platform.
In the meantime, enjoy Big Red’s new XLTE network speeds.
With all new technology, there also comes compromise. Such seems to be the case with VoLTE (voice over LTE) technology. In news that’ll have nearly all smartphone owners cringing; a recent test that consisted of an unknown device making both CDMA and VoLTE calls over an unnamed carrier revealed some interesting results. It was found that VoLTE calls generated 100% more current drain on the battery which in turn resulted in 50% less battery life. Granted, this is just the beginning stages of VoLTE technology, and we aren’t 100% sure of all the variables in the test. However, I think we can assume that much of 2013 will be spent by engineers making sure we don’t lose 50% of our battery life with this technology.
source: Droid Life
Following the lead of MetroPCS, Verizon Wireless is set on bringing voice over LTE (VoLTE) to its customers by late 2013 or 2014. According to Nicola Palmer, VP of network and CTO for Verizon Wireless, Verizon will begin a formal consumer trial at some point within the next year, with a subsequent formal rollout shortly after. Verizon is quick to point out the benefits of its testing of voice over LTE too. As opposed to using an old-school 3G voice-based network, voice over LTE has voice calls broken into data bits and transmitted across the LTE network— similar to an email transmission or song streaming over the internet. The hope is this technology will be more efficient than traditional wireless voice services, allowing for clearer calls and other services that can be linked to it. In addition, this feature will finally allow for Verizon customers to surf the internet while on a call using their cellular device.
While VoLTE is exciting news, this may possibly bring not just confusion to the average customer of how this works— but it will likely end traditional cellular minutes as we know it. Because VoLTE does not utilize a traditional voice network to transmit voice over an LTE network, mobile users are actually using 4G data packets to make and receive phone calls. This means that if you’re on one of Verizon’s Data Share plans, you’ll need to pay special attention to how many phone calls you make as it will certainly contribute to your overall monthly data usage and thus— those unlimited minutes would likely be well you know, useless.
The good thing is while we have our fair share of concerns with Verizon’s intentions, we have at least a year to see Verizon work out its various kinks and issues. This means we should see much more clarity as we near its release hopefully around this time next year.
You may or may have never heard of MetroPCS as they are not one of the big four carriers in the United States, however, being small they are still scrappy and improving their technology all the same. Just over a year ago the ambitious company announced they would eventually transition to a Voice over LTE capable network, and they made it happen, launching the world’s first Voice over LTE network. In addition, the carrier has officially launched their first VoLTE capable handset at one of their Dallas / Fort Worth store locations. The LG Connect 4G is powered by Android and is their first of many VoLTE handsets to launch and MetroPCS promises more rollouts and phone options “in the coming weeks.” This is the ‘way of the future’ and we are beginning to see more carriers make the transition to the VoLTE model as the 2G and 3G networks we have known and loved for so many years become obsolete. Hit the break for the official press release.
Gameloft and Verizon have recently announced plans to revolutionize Android gaming that could potentially change the game (pun intended). Plans are in action to enable in-game voice chat over Verizon’s 4G network that will work much similar to online gaming on Xbox and PS3 consoles.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Verizon to illustrate the potential of in-game voice chat and multiplayer over the 4G LTE network,” said Baudouin Corman, vice president of Publishing for the Americas at Gameloft. “Gameloft seeks to provide gamers with a complete mobile gaming experience and feels that these features are at the forefront of the platform’s future.”
According to the demo at this years CES, only three gamers are able to play and talk at the same time but I imagine that will change once the technology gets perfected a bit more. If you are anything like me and like to play online multiplayer games, then you know how important this feature can be and that it will take more than three people to be completely effective. To see how this is going to work, jump past the break to check out the short demo video and don’t forget to let us know what you think!
Now if Verizon would just activate voice over LTE we’d be set!