Big Red fans have been waiting for a long time for this and finally their wait ends. Verizon today announced the launch of its VoLTE or Voice-over-LTE service. Its undoubtedly an emerging trend in the wireless industry and its about time that Verizon jumped on the bandwagon. Its rivals AT&T and T-Mobile have already launched their VoLTE services, the former in limited markets and the latter nationwide.
Unlike AT&T which rolled out its service in a staggered manner, Verizon will be rolling out its VoLTE service nationwide “in the coming weeks.” Initially the service will be restricted to selected devices and customers will be required to opt-in to the VoLTE service.
The launch has already been delayed multiple times because Verizon wasn’t willing to fire up the service until it was bumped up to customers’ expectations. The service will be available wherever the carrier has LTE coverage, which already spans almost all of the United States.
Verizon’s HD voice service finally comes on the scene, which will utilize the LTE network for both video calling and voice calls. Big Red’s HD voice runs on 13kbps codec as opposed to the 24kbps codec used by T-Mobile. Verizon is of the view that it doesn’t need to use the higher bandwidth to get the voice quality it was shooting for.
The integrated voice calling service on Verizon is integrated right in the smartphone’s dialer, they can be started during a VoLTE voice call. Users will have the ability to switch between the two whenever they want. Big Red hasn’t said exactly which devices will be compatible with its new service, but all supported devices will require a software update which enables VoLTE before users can jump on it.