Verizon quietly launches VoLTE for prepaid customers

Photo credit: Flickr user Eric Hauser

Verizon quietly launched Voice over LTE (VoLTE) for prepaid users.

The offering, which the nation’s No. 1 carrier brands as “HD Voice,” enables prepaid customers to use data while on a voice call; to make one- or two-way video calls, and to access six-way conference calls. HD Voice provides clearer audio and can also be accessed over Wi-Fi calling.

Customers with VoLTE-enabled phones can add HD Voice to their accounts through their My Verizon portal for no additional charge. Calls are billed in minutes, just as standard calls are billed.

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Both handsets must have HD Voice turned on to make VoLTE calls, and the service requires LTE connections on both ends. Some VoLTE-enabled phones don’t support video calling, and Wi-Fi calling requires a phone that can support that technology.

Verizon representatives weren’t immediately available to confirm the offering, but a page on the carrier’s website clearly outlines the service for prepaid users.

VoLTE offers as much as three times more voice and data capacity than 3G technologies, enabling higher quality connections. The technology also allows carriers to increase bandwidth.

T-Mobile has been the most ambitious U.S. carrier with VoLTE, routing 57 percent of all its voice minutes through the technology, company executives said recently. Verizon and AT&T are also in various stages of VoLTE rollouts, while Sprint has opted to focus on technologies and strategies such as carrier aggregation and beamforming.

Verizon and AT&T began to commercially deploy interoperable VoLTE earlier this year after missing their goal of making the service widely available by the end of last year. "Currently, we are working with Verizon to allow our customers to enjoy that clear audio quality and video calling features when placing VoLTE calls to Verizon customers and vice versa," an AT&T spokesperson said last month. "In December, we saw the first VoLTE exchange between our customers and Verizon's in limited, select areas.  We're working with others on this same feature, too."

For more:
- see this Verizon web page

Related articles:
Verizon, AT&T offering interoperable VoLTE to some customers
Verizon, AT&T miss initial VoLTE interoperability target, promise it will happen this year
U.S. Cellular: CDMA carriers face a VoLTE 'gap'
T-Mobile sees more than 300M VoLTE calls a day, 'well over half' of all calls

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