Cricket customers rocking select recent devices will be pleasantly surprised to find that their phone calls are a bit better now, thanks to Cricket flipping the switch on their advanced VoLTE technology, dubbed HD Voice. HD Voice technology is only available between two Cricket customers for now, and requires that both parties have a compatible device, and be in range of Cricket's LTE network. Conversations over HD voice are far clearer, with less background noise. Cricket's website says that a conversation in a crowded place can happen in noisy environments and still be fairly clear. Thanks to HD Voice's roots in VoLTE, the new tech means that Cricket users can continue using high speed data while chatting away. Any data function that would normally work on the device will work while using HD Voice, including streaming music and video content.
In the fine print, Cricket notes that HD Voice calls may go down to normal quality during periods of network congestion, and Cricket's network may have to pull in help from other nearby networks to connect and maintain HD calls. The crop of HD Voice compatible devices is fairly small for the time being, and doesn't include any flagships. Owners of the Alcatel Idol 4, LG Escape 3, ZTE Grand X 4, and the Samsung Galaxy Sol 2 can try out the new network feature. Cricket has not announced when more devices will be coming. It's worth noting that the calls do use LTE, but don't count against a customer's data allowance. Likewise, unlimited customers who have used over 22GB of data can still use HD Voice, and will find the feature's availability and quality unaffected by the deprioritization that happens with their data usage.
Cricket is one of the cheaper carriers out there despite being a subsidiary of AT&T, one of the most expensive wireless carriers in the US. They are able to use AT&T's network, albeit in a far more limited capacity than AT&T customers. This means that while enhancements to the base network will be largely in step with those of AT&T, improvements to network features, such as more phones or wider network compatibility for this new HD Voice feature, will mostly come as Cricket's own budget allows.