Verizon VoLTE, Wi-Fi Calling an Unusual Move for the Conservative Company

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Some Verizon Wireless customers may have noticed the clarity of their calls improving.

The carrier has started to roll out nationwide VoLTE (voice over LTE) service. It’s also slated to debut Wi-Fi calling by the middle of next year.

Dubbed Advanced Calling 1.0, Big Red’s VoLTE service is becoming available to LG G2 and Samsung Galaxy S5 users, with promised to make it available on other devices soon via software update. Apple’s brand-new iPhone 6 and 6 plus, in case you were wondering, are VoLTE and HD Voice compatible.

There’s no extra charge for the service, which is expected to improve voice clarity dramatically; think going from standard-definition TV to HD.

“Verizon Wireless’ VoLTE rollout is an unusual move for the conservative company,” noted Ken Rehbehn, principal analyst with 451 Research, commenting specifically on a Fierce Wireless article. “In contrast to AT&T’s pattern of cautiously rolling out its VoLTE offer, Verizon is prepared to kick off nationwide VoLTE service even though portions of its network remain incapable of handling the new functionality. But buried in its Frequently Asked Questions is a recommendation to customers that may not be in a region with ubiquitous LTE coverage: Shut the feature off. To be sure, the move is smart. Verizon has aggressively rolled a top-flight LTE network across its footprint with relatively few, mostly rural, areas left with CDMA service. The vast majority of its customers, however, have no such problem. And with the VoLTE-capable iPhone 6 arriving in customer hands, now is the time to make the most of its LTE network and this VoLTE launch does just that. For Verizon Wireless, this means its legacy CDMA voice network load will rapidly drop as customers embrace the latest in high-end smartphone capability. The end of CDMA is in sight.”

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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