Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) technology has been talked about for the past couple of years, especially from Verizon and AT&T, although, just the other day T-Mobile gave us some insight to their future VoLTE plans. However, talk is cheap, and we have yet to see any real VoLTE progress from the two largest wireless carriers – it was back in 2011 when Verizon Wireless made its first voice call over a commercial LTE network. Verizon is claiming to have its VoLTE up and running by mid-2014 and in use by the end of the year. Last year, AT&T introduced its $14 billion, Project Velocity IP expansion program to deploy more than 40,000 small cells, which are an integral part of its VoLTE coverage.
According to the Korean Herald, AT&T may be the first U.S. carrier moving forward with its VoLTE program, as they announced they will be using, unspecified models, of Samsung devices to test their VoLTE system, which is slated to launch later this year. AT&T was hoping to launch its first VoLTE capable device by the end of 2013, but realistically, the end of 2014 is probably closer to the truth. At the CES 2014 show, just last week, AT&T announced its first VoLTE supported device, the ASUS Padfone X, but there was no news as to when it would be available and if it would debut with the VoLTE feature working.
AT&T has a long history of collaboration with Apple and its iPhone and many wonder why AT&T chose Samsung instead – easy answer – the iPhone does not have the VoLTE capability and Samsung has made VoLTE devices in Korea since 2012, as VoLTE services are already offered by Korean carriers SK Telecom and LG U+. This could be quite a coup for both AT&T and Samsung, as the popularity of both companies should rise according to analysts. For Samsung, this could mean gaining even more of a foothold in the U.S. as it battles Apple for supremacy here – globally, Samsung is the undisputed king of mobile phone manufacturing, but it would love to squeeze the juice out Apple for that number one position in the U.S.
Please let us know on our Google+ Page if you are excited about the switch-over to VoLTE and feel that is about time that our carriers get this feature "turned-on." VoLTE claims HD voice quality, quicker connection speeds, and better battery life – sounds like a great combination.