Verizon is heavily promoting VoLTE (Voice over LTE) at Mobile World Congress. Verizon will switch from CDMA to VoLTE beginning in 2012. The system is being demonstrated on the LG Revolution and the Samsung 4G LTE smartphone. Reports on how it works confirm that it works but that it was difficult to tell how it sounds in the large convention hall. The first 4G LTE smartphone available on Verizon, however, will be the HTC ThunderBolt due out next Thursday, February 24.
The way VoLTE works is that it sends voice calls over the data network, but unlike choppy Skype-style VoiP calls, the voice function is integrated into the whole LTE system on the
Verizon Wireless network, with assurances of high-quality service and
priority over any non-voice traffic. At Mobile World Congress, Verizon VP of product Development, Marjorie Hsu, said that the VoLTE call will have high-definition sound quality voice with very rich sounding conversation.
The best aspects of VoLTE for "Can you hear me know?" fans is
that it will have higher-quality voice and the ability to use voice and
data at the same time. Verizon, at first, will allow customers to choose
between making a CDMA call or a 4G VoLTE call until the Verizon Wireless network is fully LTE, when all voice calls will be VoLTE.
Sascah Segan tried VoLTE at Mobile World Congress and noted that he
couldn't tell that voice quality was better but could confirm that VoLTE works. Quentyn Kennemer, after listening to the sound with the new wideband codec, wrote that he was impressed.
No pricing has been released yet for VoLTE.