Verizon Wireless, America’s largest cellular carrier, has announced that from this Sunday, September 25, prepaid customers are able to use Verizon’s HD Voice technology. Verizon Wireless’ HD Voice technology utilises VoLTE (Voice Over LTE) technology, which means using the data connection to handle call audio rather than the traditional network way. Furthermore, HD Voice also includes the ability to include six way calling, calls over a Wi-Fi network and the ability to continue browsing the web whilst talking when using a LTE network. Call audio sounds much clearer as Verizon also use a higher bitrate for audio, which means that more sound data is included with the call – although in order for HD Voice to work, both sides of the conversation need to have a compatible device and network connection. VoLTE is an important technology for today and tomorrow’s cellular data networks as it allows carriers to pack many more connections into the one mast, as it is a much more significant use of spectrum. In the absence of VoLTE technology, when a device makes or receives a call it must drop to either a 2G or 3G connection for the duration of the call. Once a call has concluded, the handset will migrate back up to the LTE connection when it is able to, but this means that the data connection needs to temporarily disconnect and then reconnect as cellular networks are unable to make a seamless move from 2G or 3G to LTE radios. VoLTE removes these disadvantages and makes for a better customer experience.
Another significant advantage is that by enabling HD Voice for Verizon’s prepaid service, customers are able to make and receive calls over a compatible Wi-Fi network. For prepaid customers, these calls are free to another US number, which means for a customer roaming away from continental America, calls home could be free. Although Verizon’s network offers coast to coast coverage, there are still areas of indifferent or missing coverage, such as in the middle of buildings and allowing customers to handle calls over a Wi-Fi network will help cover these “not spots.” As regards to devices that support the technology, Verizon currently offers a total of twenty seven devices, including current and former Android flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7, the LG G5 and the BlackBerry PRIV.