Long Term Evolution is the next generation of mobile networking, according to many experts. While thus far LTE has mainly been used for high-speed data transmission, it can also be used for traditional phone calls, with Voice over LTE systems. Due to the wide range of benefits that VoLTE could provide, the majority of major providers that currently offer LTE have announced plans to get in on this market over the next year or two. But what are these benefits, and does VoLTE really make a difference over VoIP services like Skype? It’s worth taking a closer look at this heavily hyped new technology.
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What is Voice over LTE?
When you make a traditional phone call on a smartphone, it’s routed through circuit-switched networks, while text, data, and internet services use a 3G or 4G LTE network. When you use Voice over LTE with Nokia Networks or other popular providers, it allows the operators to transmit your voice services over the data network rather than sending it through the circuits. It breaks down your voice calls into smaller packets, in the same way that your emails are sent through a data network. The result is a higher quality, higher speed phone call.
Potential Benefits of VoLTE
Why is VoLTE technology making such a stir at the moment? It comes with an array of potential benefits to both consumers and network providers. The most important of these is the big boost in call quality. When placing a call over an LTE network, the quality is far clearer than it would be in a more traditional call. Background interference is nearly eliminated, as is verbal mush. From the provider’s perspective, VoLTE is attractive because it is far more efficient than a traditional network. It puts fewer demands on already strained network bandwidth, which creates more room for data storage. You can expect to see more elaborate applications as a result of this extra room.
Some are concerned that today’s smartphones aren’t ready for services like VoLTE, and that it could put excessive strain on the battery. However, in comparison to VoIP calls, which are already quite popular, VoLTE is more efficient. Still, it will use more of the battery than a traditional circuit-based call. Another drawback is that because this technology is fairly new, it’s not yet widely available and there are some bugs to work out before it becomes fully mainstream. LTE networks are becoming more common, but in areas where only 2G or 3G services are available this technology will not yet be an option.
The Bottom Line
Although there are some concerns to address and it may take some time to roll out, overall there are a number of reasons why Voice over LTE is a working technology that could change the way we make phone calls. An improvement in call quality combined with greater efficiency makes this a win-win situation for both service providers and consume