What is VoLTE & How To Use It – Voiceover LTE Guide

In the ever-evolving world of telecommunications, VoLTE has emerged as a significant advancement, revolutionizing how we communicate. But what exactly is VoLTE, and why is it becoming a buzzword in the mobile industry? Let’s delve into the details of this technology.

What is VoLTE

VoLTE, an acronym for Voice over Long-Term Evolution, is a technology that allows voice calls to be made over a 4G LTE network. Unlike traditional calls that utilize 2G or 3G networks, VoLTE harnesses the power of 4G (and now 5G), ensuring faster and clearer communication. 

VoLTE | Unsplash

The Advantages of VoLTE

VoLTE has many benefits, such as efficient battery usage and extended coverage. The main advantage to VoLTE is that it can deliver better call quality than you would get over a 2G or 3G connection.

1. Improved Battery Life

Switching to VoLTE increases your battery life because traditional calls often cause the phone to switch between 3G and 4G, consuming more power. VoLTE eliminates this constant switching between 3G and 4G, conserving battery life, which is especially beneficial for heavy callers such as businessmen.

2. Multitasking Capabilities

3G and 4G cannot handle voice calls and data simultaneously, which means you can either browse the internet or be on a call. VoLTE, however, revolutionizes that. You can browse the internet while on a call, download a file, stream music, or check emails. Allowing you to multitask seamlessly. 

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Multitasking on a phone | Unsplash

3. Enhanced Coverage and Connectivity

VoLTE not only ensures faster connection times but also provides broader coverage. This means even in areas where 2G or 3G signals might be weak, VoLTE can offer a stable and clear connection. Additionally, with carriers globally expanding their 4G and 5G infrastructures, VoLTE’s reach and reliability are set to increase exponentially.

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4. High-Definition Call Quality

VoLTE offers a transformative experience in voice call clarity because it delivers 3x better call quality than 3G and up to six times that of 2G. VoLTE provides a crisp and clear sound, enhancing the overall calling experience. Users can easily discern subtle conversation nuances, making calls more engaging and personal.

VoLTE Calling | Unsplash

5. Video Calls Over VoLTE

Video communication is becoming increasingly prevalent. VoLTE simplifies this by natively supporting high-quality video calls. This eliminates the need for third-party apps, ensuring that video calls are as straightforward and high-quality as voice calls. The result is smoother video, synchronized audio, and an overall enhanced video calling experience.

How To Check Compatibility & Enable VoLTE

VoLTE is disabled by default on most devices, and many do not support the technology. VoLTE is also region-dependent so even if your device has support for it, you still might be restricted. Here is how to check if your device can use VoLTE and how to subsequently enable it.

Activating VoLTE

From the iPhone 6 to the latest Android devices, many modern smartphones are VoLTE-ready. Users can check compatibility in their phone settings or refer to their device’s official specifications.

Activating VoLTE is straightforward and requires little to no tweaking in the settings app. 


On iPhone, navigate to the “Settings” app, tap on “Cellular,” and then on “Cellular Data Options.” You will see the “Enable LTE” button if your network supports it. Otherwise, you will see a different set of options.

Enable LTE Menu – Apple

Choose “Voice & Data” to fully utilize the capabilities of VoLTE.

  • Off: Turns off LTE
  • Voice & Data: Allows voice calls and cellular data use over LTE 
  • Data Only: Allows cellular-data use, but not voice calls over LTE


On Android, you typically navigate to the “Settings” app and select “Network” to determine if it’s a supported feature. However, the exact path can vary based on your device’s user interface. It’s best to contact your service provider to confirm if your phone supports this feature.

For Samsung users, open the “Settings” app, press on “Connections,” and then choose “Mobile Networks,” here, you can select to turn on “VoLTE Calls” for the SIM that supports it. 

Samsung Mobile Networks Menu

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Network Compatibility

Major networks across the US and UK have embraced VoLTE. However, it’s essential to note that VoLTE services might be limited in different countries. Here is a list of all the networks that support VoLTE.

 US major carriers that support VoLTE:

  • AT&T
  • Sprint
  • US Cellular
  • Verizon
  • T-Mobile

UK networks that support VoLTE:

  • Three
  • EE
  • Asda Mobile
  • iD Mobile
  • BT Mobile
  • Vodafone
  • O2
  • Smart Mobile
  • Virgin Mobile
  • Voxi
  • Sky Mobile

Limitations of VoLTE

While VoLTE offers enhanced call clarity and efficiency, it has its own set of challenges.

1. Receiver’s Device

For a call to use VoLTE and be in high quality, both the caller and the receiver’s devices must support VoLTE. If one of the devices isn’t VoLTE-enabled, the call will revert back to either 3G or 4G which will significantly drop the audio quality.

2. Internet Dependency

VoLTE operates over 4G networks at its core, making it heavily reliant on a stable internet connection. In regions where 4G coverage is inconsistent or weak, users might experience disruptions, reduced call quality, or even call drops. 

4G Tower
4G Tower – Unsplash

This dependency on 4G coverage can be incredibly challenging in rural areas or places with infrastructural shortcomings, where 4G signals are less robust than in cities. 

Does My Phone Support VoLTE?

While most new smartphones come equipped with VoLTE support, many older models, especially those released before the widespread adoption of 4G, lack this feature.

For users with such devices, the only way to leverage the full benefits of VoLTE might be to invest in a newer, compatible smartphone. However, numerous mobile brands and telecom operators are now introducing VoLTE functionalities via software enhancements.

Do I Need To Upgrade My Mobile For VoLTE?

As many carriers phase out 3G services, the shift to VoLTE becomes inevitable for users. If enhanced call quality and connectivity are on your wish list, transitioning to a VoLTE-compatible device is a worthwhile investment. 

The Future of VoLTE

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and VoLTE will continue to integrate, especially with the rise of 5G. As 5G technology evolves, VoLTE will play a pivotal role, ensuring that voice communication remains seamless and efficient. However, it is plausible that newer technologies might soon overshadow both VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling solutions.

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VoLTE is more than just a technological buzzword. It’s the future of voice communication. As networks continue to evolve and expand, embracing VoLTE ensures a clearer, faster, and more efficient calling experience. 

Whether you’re a casual caller or a business professional, the benefits of VoLTE are undeniable. We can only hope what the future has in store with the rise of VoIP.


Will my phone automatically switch to 3G if VoLTE isn’t available?

Yes, if you’re in an area without 4G LTE coverage or if the network faces issues, your phone will automatically switch to 3G for voice calls.

Can I use VoLTE when roaming internationally?

While VoLTE is supported by many carriers globally, its availability while roaming depends on the roaming agreements between carriers. It’s best to check with your service provider before traveling.

Does VoLTE use my data plan when making calls?

VoLTE uses your minutes plan for calls, not your data plan. 

How do I know if I’m on a VoLTE call?

Many smartphones display a “VoLTE” icon on the status bar during a VoLTE call. Additionally, you might notice improved call setup times and clearer voice quality.

Can I disable VoLTE if I don’t want to use it?

Yes, most smartphones allow you to disable VoLTE from the network or cellular settings if you prefer not to use it.


Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.