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What is VoLTE?

The strange acronym VoLTE might not have an obvious meaning, but it actually signifies a useful bit of tech that could improve your phonecalls.

For starters, the LTE part of the acronym stands for “Long-Term Evolution” which is a term often used interchangeably with the 4G mobile data network. “Vo” stands for Voiceover, and that’s because the VoLTE system exists to support voice calls from your mobile phone with 4G data speeds. For that reason, sometimes the more straightforward term “4G Calling” is used to describe this feature.

The main advantage to VoLTE is that it can deliver better call quality than you would get over a 2G or 3G connection, letting you hear your speaking partner more clearly.

Does my phone support VoLTE?

Many 4G-compatible smartphones do support VoLTE, including all iPhones from the iPhone 6 onwards.

On Android devices, you will generally need to go into the Settings app, tap Network, and then tap Call to see whether it is listed as a feature. However, this route depends on the user interface on your device, and so you may have to use another route to check compatibility. If unsure, you can contact your network to enquire whether your smartphone is compatible.

Does my network support VoLTE?

Early on when 4G first launched VoLTE wasn’t offered on every network. Fortunately there’s been a lot of progress since then and in today’s world most networks support this feature, including all major US and UK networks – although the ability to make VoLTE calls when abroad is still quite limited, depending on your network and location.

Nearly all the US major carriers support VoLTE including:

  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile
  • Sprint
  • U.S. Cellular
  • Verizon

The following UK networks support VoLTE:

  • Three
  • EE
  • Vodafone
  • O2
  • Asda Mobile
  • iD Mobile
  • BT Mobile
  • Sky Mobile
  • Smart Mobile
  • Virgin Mobile
  • Voxi

How can I use VoLTE?

VoLTE is not always employed automatically by your smartphone. In order to make use of it, you’ve first got to have a 4G-compatible smartphone that supports the feature, and you’ll also need to be on a mobile network that supports VoLTE.

Once these conditions are satisfied, then follow these steps if you’re an iPhone user:

  • Open the Settings app
  • Tap Cellular
  • Switch Cellular Data to “on”, and then tap Cellular Data Options
  • Tap Voice and Data, and give a checkmark to “4G” or “LTE”

On Android devices the Settings menu may vary considerably between handsets, but generally speaking you will need to tap Network and then Call, before selecting 4G or LTE in order to activate the VoLTE feature.

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