It's no surprise, but VoLTE is the next big thing, not to take anything away from Samsung. But it appears that plenty of carriers are going to be using it over the next few years. Which is understandable as it means they can get rid of their voice network and only have a data network. Which is the main reason that networks are getting overcrowded now. Not because there's not enough space on their voice network, but there's not enough bandwidth on their data network. VoLTE is basically like VoIP, but over 4G LTE, obviously. It's already live here in the US on a few devices, in a few cities, on a few carriers. AT&T and T-Mobile already have it live in certain areas. While Verizon has said theirs will go live later this year, but they will go live for the entire country at once. No plans from Sprint just yet.
VoLTE is gaining ground, with it being launched by 10 carriers in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and the US already. Additionally, there are 66 providers in 35 countries that are investing in VoLTE as we speak, and that number will likely jump in the next few years. As far as LTE networks go, the GSA states that 318 carriers in 111 countries have deployed 4G LTE networks, with 51 of them in the past year alone. The next step after 4G LTE, is VoLTE. And there are plenty of carriers that have already invested in the technology.
This is the technology we've been waiting for. Why? Because it means that we will be able to buy data-only plans from our carriers instead of being charged extra for "unlimited calls and text" which really don't cost the carrier much at all. Hopefully with VoLTE, we'll see a drop in monthly plan prices, but then again, knowing these carriers I wouldn't count on that.