The term, VoLTE, or Voice over LTE calling, has been bounced around the tech talk circles for a while, but its actual usage is still on the lower side – this is due to carriers implementing the necessary hardware and the lack of enabled smartphones. It does offer significant improvements in voice quality among other things. Rogers, Fido, and Bell have already launched their VoLTE systems, and Telus is finally getting ready to do a nationwide launch, but first, they are conducting a small test pilot in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. It is only available to post-paid customers with an LTE SIM card. Currently, the devices on Telus' network are limited to the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4, but Telus promises they are expanding both coverage and devices throughout 2016. Telus believes that VoLTE is "the next evolution in wireless calling. It allows customers with a compatible phone to place and receive calls over the Telus LTE network instead of the HSPA network."
VoLTE means several improvements to the customer experience. This first is you will be able to do simultaneous voice and data calls – on the phone with a friend and need to jump on the web to look for something, no problem. You can do both at the same time and never at miss a beat. Previously, data was carried over LTE when you were not on a voice call, and if you were on a voice call, then your data was transmitted using the slower 3G speeds. Now, with VoLTE, your data and voice will be carried over LTE at the same time. Even though these VoLTE calls utilize the data network, there is no additional charge and your data will not be depleted.
Another significant advantage is better sounding voice calls, and this means the person listening gets to hear a more natural sounding and clearer voice – the only catch is that you both must be using a device that supports VoLTE. The difference is so significant that some have said it is the difference between talking with two tin cans and a string versus CD quality sound. You will not hear a difference using a non-VoLTE smartphone. Another advantage of VoLTE is that it improves connectivity and the speed to connect to a call – over VoLTE, your call will connect in about two seconds, not the usual six to eight that it takes now.