Should I turn VoLTE on or off?

What is VoLTE?

VoLTE stands for Voice over Long-Term Evolution or Voice over LTE. It is a technology that allows voice calls to be made over 4G LTE networks instead of traditional cellular networks (Sony). With VoLTE, phone calls are converted into digital data packets that are transmitted over IP networks. This allows for improved call quality and faster call connection times compared to old 2G or 3G voice networks.

The key benefits of VoLTE include:

  • Higher quality voice calls – VoLTE calls have a wider audio frequency range resulting in better sound quality.
  • Faster call setup times – VoLTE calls can be set up almost instantaneously compared to the 2-3 seconds needed for 3G calls.
  • Simultaneous voice and data – Since VoLTE uses data networks, you can use voice and data services simultaneously.
  • Improved battery life – VoLTE is designed to be more battery efficient compared to legacy networks.

In summary, VoLTE allows voice calls to leverage the speed and quality of 4G LTE networks as an alternative to traditional cellular voice networks (TechTarget). It brings voice communications into the modern IP-based era.

Benefits of VoLTE

VoLTE provides several key benefits over traditional voice calling methods:

Higher call quality – VoLTE calls utilize wider frequency bandwidth, resulting in HD quality voice. This leads to much clearer call audio compared to traditional 2G or 3G networks [1].

Faster call connectivity – With VoLTE, call setup times are much faster, typically taking under a second to initiate a call. This is a significant improvement over 2G and 3G which could take several seconds to connect [2].

Ability to use voice and data simultaneously – Unlike older networks, VoLTE allows you to browse the web, stream video, or download files while on a voice call. This is because VoLTE handles voice as data packets rather than switching circuits.

Drawbacks of VoLTE

While VoLTE offers many benefits, there are some potential drawbacks to be aware of as well:

One drawback is that VoLTE can use more battery power than traditional calls in some cases. The advanced codecs used for encoding voice packets can be more demanding on the device modem and processor (Source). This means battery life may decrease faster during VoLTE calls compared to 3G or 2G calls. However, VoLTE’s faster call setup times can help offset the increased power usage.

Another drawback is that VoLTE is not universally supported across all networks and devices yet. While adoption is rapidly increasing, some older smartphones do not support VoLTE, and certain carriers lag behind in enabling it (Source). So you may not be able to make VoLTE calls from every device or in every coverage area. Support will continue improving over time.

In summary, the two main drawbacks are potentially decreased battery life compared to legacy networks, and lack of universal device/network support currently. But VoLTE brings substantial advantages as well, so carefully weigh the pros and cons for your particular usage.

When to Enable VoLTE

VoLTE stands for Voice over LTE and refers to making voice calls over an LTE cellular data connection instead of the old 2G/3G networks. Enabling VoLTE can provide better call quality, quicker call establishment and faster switching from calling to 4G data, among other benefits. However, VoLTE requires a compatible device and strong 4G LTE coverage to work properly. Some key times you may want to enable VoLTE include:

If you have a compatible device and cellular plan – To take advantage of VoLTE, first make sure your smartphone model and wireless carrier plan support VoLTE. Most newer flagship phones and cellular plans now include VoLTE capabilities, but double check before trying to enable it.

In areas with good 4G LTE coverage – VoLTE relies on having a strong 4G LTE cellular signal, so enable it primarily when in areas with reliably fast LTE service. VoLTE calls may not work properly or fallback to 3G in weak LTE zones.

For better call quality – VoLTE provides higher-quality audio calls than traditional 3G networks. Enabling it can result in clearer call sound, reduced background noise and faster call connectivity.

When Not to Enable VoLTE

There are a few situations where you may want to disable VoLTE on your device:

If you have an incompatible device or plan – Not all devices or cellular plans support VoLTE. If your device or carrier plan is incompatible, turning on VoLTE may cause issues like dropped calls. Check with your carrier to confirm your device and plan supports VoLTE before enabling it (Source).

In areas with poor 4G LTE coverage – VoLTE relies on a strong 4G LTE connection to function properly. If you are in an area with weak LTE signal, turning off VoLTE forces the device to use 3G networks for voice calls, which may be more reliable. Disable VoLTE when you expect poor LTE coverage.

To conserve battery life – Keeping VoLTE enabled uses more battery power, as it maintains a constant LTE connection for calling and data. If you are concerned about battery life, turning off VoLTE can improve battery efficiency in areas with good 3G coverage. However, this disables high-definition calling.

Checking VoLTE Compatibility

To check if your smartphone is compatible with VoLTE, the first step is to consult your carrier and device specifications. Each carrier has a list of devices that have been approved and tested to work on their network with VoLTE enabled. For example, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile all have phone compatibility checkers on their websites where you can enter your device model to see if VoLTE is supported.

It’s also important to make sure your device’s software is fully up to date. Phone manufacturers often enable VoLTE connectivity through software and firmware updates. Go to your phone’s settings to check for any available operating system updates and install them. Staying current on the latest software version maximizes the chances of having full VoLTE compatibility.

You can also check the status of VoLTE on your smartphone within the device settings. On most Android phones, go to Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile network or Cellular networks, while on iPhones go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular data options. There should be an option for “VoLTE” or “Enhanced 4G LTE mode” which will show if it’s currently enabled or supported by your carrier.

Finally, be aware that even if your phone model is technically capable of VoLTE, your carrier’s network configuration determines compatibility. Check the coverage map on your carrier’s website to confirm your location has full VoLTE service available. Maintaining updated carrier service plans and SIM cards can also impact access to VoLTE features.

Enabling/Disabling VoLTE

Enabling or disabling VoLTE on your smartphone will depend on the device brand and model. Here are the basic steps for the most popular platforms:

On iOS (iPhone):

  • Go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options
  • Tap “Enable LTE” to turn on VoLTE support
  • Toggle “Voice & Data” on or off to enable or disable VoLTE


On Android:

  • Open Settings and go to Network & Internet > Mobile Network
  • Tap on “Advanced” and toggle “Enhanced 4G LTE Mode” or “VoLTE” on or off

The specific steps can vary by Android device model and manufacturer interface, but generally follow the above.

Troubleshooting Issues

If you experience problems after enabling VoLTE, such as choppy calls, here are some troubleshooting steps you can take:

Check for device compatibility – Make sure your device and carrier both support VoLTE. Refer to your carrier’s website for a list of compatible devices.

Update your device software – Ensuring your device runs the latest software can help resolve bugs causing call quality issues. Check for and install any available updates.

Reset network settings – On your device, go to Settings > General > Reset and tap “Reset Network Settings.” This clears any problematic network connections and resets it to default.

Toggle airplane mode on/off – Turn on airplane mode for 30 seconds, then turn it off. This forces the device to re-establish the cellular connection which may fix software glitches.

Contact your carrier – If you continue having call quality problems over VoLTE, contact your carrier’s technical support. They can check your provisioning and tower connections to identify any network-side issues.

According to a Netscout troubleshooting guide, common problems like choppy audio over VoLTE may stem from configuration issues, signal interference, or software bugs [1]. Following the steps above can help identify and resolve many common factors causing VoLTE call quality problems.

VoLTE vs WiFi Calling

VoLTE and WiFi Calling are two similar voice over IP (VoIP) technologies that allow users to make calls and send texts over an internet data connection rather than a traditional cellular network. There are some key differences between the two technologies (1):

  • VoLTE uses the 4G LTE cellular network to transmit voice calls and SMS messages. WiFi calling routes calls and messages over a WiFi network.
  • VoLTE calls will typically have better audio quality compared to a standard cellular call. WiFi calling quality can vary greatly depending on the strength of your WiFi connection.
  • VoLTE works anywhere within your carrier’s LTE coverage area. WiFi calling only works if you are connected to a WiFi network.
  • VoLTE allows you to use voice and data simultaneously on your device. With WiFi calling, you cannot use cellular data while on a call.

In general, VoLTE is the preferred option when you have a strong 4G LTE signal. The call quality will be reliable, and you can still use data services. However, if the cellular signal is poor but WiFi is strong, WiFi calling can provide a better calling experience. Users with limited cellular data may also prefer WiFi calling to avoid using up data minutes (2).

Both technologies can provide helpful options for making calls in areas with spotty coverage. Checking which options are enabled and testing them out in different locations can help determine when to use VoLTE versus switching to WiFi calling.




The Future of VoLTE

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology is expected to see strong continued growth in the coming years. According to a report by GSMA Intelligence, VoLTE connections are forecast to increase to over 70% of global mobile connections by 2030, including connections over 5G networks (GSMA Intelligence). Key drivers of this growth include the ongoing rollout of 4G and 5G networks globally, as well as the retirement of legacy 2G and 3G networks.

New features and capabilities are also being developed for VoLTE technology. For example, some carriers are working on adding enhancements like ultra high-definition (UHD) voice quality, multi-device handover to allow seamless voice connections across multiple devices, and mission critical push-to-talk features. VoLTE is also expected to enable more advanced voice services as 5G standalone networks are deployed, thanks to 5G’s network slicing capabilities. Overall, the future looks bright for continued VoLTE growth and innovation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *