The iPhone 6 will finally offer an amazing feature to more users this fall as Verizon plans to launch a new type of network that will let iPhone users do more on Verizon. This new feature will likely be part of the iPhone 6 at release and could be a part of the iOS 8 update for the iPhone 5s.
What are we so excited about? Verizon confirmed plans to launch their VOLTE network this year, which means if you own a Verizon iPhone that supports this tech you can make a call and use data at the same time when this goes live.
This may sound like a very small thing, but it means you will be able to use the iPhone as a hotspot and take a call without losing connectivity, or look up an address or phone number while on a call. Odds are you’ve run into this limitation at least once while using a Verizon iPhone.
Based on the timing this should be a feature on the Verizon iPhone 6, and it could come to the iPhone 5s this fall as well. If the Verizon VoLTE network is not live by late September there is a chance we’ll see another small update to turn VoLTE on for these phones, but the best guess is iOS 8 will enable it and users will need to wait for Verizon to turn it on.
AT&T network technology allows simultaneous voice and data at the same time on the iPhone, and many Verizon Android phones support this, but since the iPhone first came to Verizon users have not been able to do this simple and common task.
Fierce Wireless reports Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo shared the news that VoLTE (Voice Over LTE) networks will go live in the fourth quarter of 2014. The company will not deliver its first VoLTE only phone until 2016, but that doesn’t mean other phones won’t start using the VoLTE network this year.
Currently Verizon voice and data travel on separate technology, and the iPhone does not include the hardware needed to deliver simultaneous voice and data over these two connection methods. In VoLTE, your calls travel as data instead of the old way.
This means you gain higher quality voice calls and the ability to use voice and data at the same time because the phone is simply sending your call as more data. If you want a preview of how much better these calls could sound make a FaceTime Audio call from the iPhone and compare that to your average phone call.
Shammo also outlined other benefits including improved HD video calling, and the potential for telemedicine and other services to run on the VoLTE network.
The report outlines Verizon’s plans to deliver a “robust line” of VoLTE smartphones when the network arrives. This will likely include the iPhone 6, and it would not be a surprise to see the Note 4 use VoLTE as well as other recent devices through a software update including the Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and LG G3.
There are reports that the iPhone 5s is VoLTE compatible, which could be enabled with a software update after the Verizon VoLTE networks are live. Many older devices are VoLTE ready, even as far back as the Samsung Galaxy S3.
Verizon network engineers told Gotta Be Mobile that when VoLTE is ready it will go live across all of Verizon LTE coverage, and not on a market by market basis. This is similar to the XLTE rollout that arrived earlier this year delivering faster data connectivity to Verizon users.
The AT&T VoLTE network is live now as is T-Mobile’s VoLTE network, but there is no word on Sprint’s exact plans.
The iPhone 6 release is likely in late September following a September 9th launch event. We expect an iOS 8 release date around September 17th, which could add this feature to the iPhone 5s.