Owners of Google's Pixel and Pixel XL on Canada's Rogers network will be getting some new enhancements on April 3 thanks to an incoming update that was revealed by the carrier on March 10. According to the service provider's site, the update will be two-fold. The update is set to bring the devices up to date with the latest security updates and will also unlock the devices' Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) capabilities. VoLTE brings with it several benefits. First and foremost, since the calls are handled over LTE – similar to VoIP calls – they are vastly improved in terms of quality. Significantly better call clarity and a more dynamic audio range enabled by VoLTE allow for much more natural sound. Calls will also be connected between devices much more quickly. Users will also be able to use their LTE connection to do things like watch videos or browse the web while in a VoLTE call.
For users that meet requirements to access VoLTE, the enhanced connections will occur automatically whenever a call is placed on the carrier's LTE network – whether that call is a video call or a traditional phone call. Calls made off-network will be handled just as they had been prior to the update and will not be dropped if a user goes from Rogers' LTE network to a roaming network or transitions to an HSPA or EDGE network. Rogers points out on their FAQ page, however, that video calls will be switched to a traditional "voice only" call when a transition off of LTE occurs.
VoLTE will certainly add some pretty significant improvements, but it should be noted that the use of VoLTE may not be available to every owner of Google Pixel or Pixel XL devices on Rogers. Obviously, an LTE-compatible plan and SIM card will be required – although the company says that there will not be any added cost for the data used because VoLTE calls will be treated in the same way as traditional calling methods. However, Roger's also says that users with Advanced Call Manager features or who are using Ringback tunes will also not have access to VoLTE features but that they will still be able to use those features while on a VoLTE-enabled network.