If you've ever initiated a call on your LTE
-enabled smartphone while in an LTE area, you may have noticed what happens once the call actually connects. It's no longer using LTE. That's because Voice Over LTE (VoLTE
) remains a fledgling feature, barely supported anywhere in the world, and certainly not broadly in the United States. As with everything in the technology world, that's changing. Starting May 23rd, AT&T will bring High Definition (HD) Voice using an "all-IP, VoLTE network." At first, only select markets will be tapped, but it'll spread like wildfire after the initial launch.
This will allow those speaking with HD Voice to also surf via LTE. Initially, it'll be enabled on the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini, with AT&T promising support on more devices shortly. There's hubbub that this could be teed up so that the next-gen iPhone has support right out of the gate.
Initially, HD Voice from AT&T will be available in select areas in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and will continue to expand on a market-by-market basis. Interestingly, the news comes as voice conversations are less and less relied upon. Texting and data use is up, while traditional phone calls are down. Still, we'll take any improvement we can get, and we suspect the other major carriers will likely implement their own VoLTE support soon.