Verizon is yet to go all out on its HD Voice service, unlike its competitors AT&T and T-Mobile. But soon, Verizon customers who are eagerly awaiting the upcoming service may not have long to wait.
At a recent investor conference, Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo announced that the carrier's Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service is indeed set to launch before the end of this year. However, Shammo further confirmed that Verizon will not be offering LTE-only smartphones, at least until the year 2016.
Sometime in the past few months, Verizon had revealed its plans to introduce an LTE-only calling service to its subscribers. But as for introducing LTE-only phones, the carrier will reportedly hold off on that decision depending on how successful their VoLTE launch will be later this year.
Verizon's VoLTE service is set to provide customers with improved voice call quality made possible via HD Voice services, not to mention better video calling capabilities. In their current setup, Verizon distributes all of its cell phone communications across several different networks, limiting its voice calls to 3G CDMA, an accessible and reliable network, albeit a much slower one. But now that the carrier is about to complete its LTE rollout extensively throughout the United States, it will subsequently route all its voice traffic to its LTE service, which promises to be faster.
But due to the fact that only roughly half of Verizon's customers (about 55%) are using LTE-ready devices right now, users still have more than enough time before the 3G CDMA service becomes redundant, with the 3G network expected to offer additional voice coverage in the near future.
Aside from providing improved voice and video calling capabilities, a move to LTE-only phones could also mean a decrease in the prices of handsets. Devices having both 3G- and 4G-compatible chips are normally more pricey compared to those that feature only single 4G chips. But by switching to 4G-only phones, new devices will hopefully have lowered prices, at least in theory.
Subscribers will also be glad to know that Verizon is deciding to use industry standard technology. This will potentially allow its VoLTE service as well as its HD Voice to become compatible with other mobile devices and even other carriers. What this means for customers is that they will be able to make voice calls easier even if they're using different networks.
Apart from the VoLTE launch, Verizon is also continuing the deployment of its XLTE network, which was done by merging its LTE network with its AWS spectrum. Customers should be able to enjoy larger bandwidth (resulting in faster data speeds and minimum network congestion) from this enhanced LTE service. Verizon has stated earlier this year that all its new phones will be automatically support XLTE. As for cell phones already available on the market, the Apple iPhone 5c and 5s, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5, the Motorola Moto X, and the LG G2 are all XLTE-ready. All the latest Droid devices are also XLTE-enabled. If the smartphone you're using is on the XLTE-ready list, you will not need to adjust your phone settings or upgrade your plan in order to use the extra spectrum -- your handset should connect automatically to the XLTE network. To know more, you can compare Verizon plans here.
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