Here is our detailed and comprehensive guide to VoLTE. We answer our most commonly asked questions, including ‘what is VoLTE’, ‘how does VoLTE work’ and ‘what is VoLTE used for’.
While it sounds like a terrifying, complicated telecoms acronym, VoLTE is a very simple premise that you may already be using without even knowing.
What is VoLTE?
VoLTE stands for voice over LTE. LTE, as you might already know, is another name for 4G. So, if you break it down, VoLTE means you’re transmitting your voice call over a 4G network.
Traditionally, voice calls use a technology called GPRS (you may have seen the GPRS logo in the signal bar on your phone). However, VoLTE uses your 3G or 4G (or even 5G) connection to make these voice calls.
Before 2003, VoLTE calling was not really very practical, the slow and high latency EDGE and GPRS connection could not sustain a VoLTE call. However, when 3G was introduced, manufactures and telecom companies began to rollout VoLTE.
As 3G was quickly replaced by 4G, VoLTE became even more reliable, and is now a very common place with smartphone manufactures.
Almost all of the main networks and carriers provide a VoLTE option with their plans. This includes the three main providers that we use: Vodafone, O2 and EE.
Examples of VoLTE
Chances are, you’re already using VoLTE without even knowing it. Many well known mobile apps take advantage of VoLTE calling for its superior quality and low latency. Some examples of commonly used VoLTE apps are:
- Facebook messenger
All of these apps use VoLTE when you use them to make calls while out and about. The apps send voice data via your 4G LTE data connection, which
How does VoLTE work?
As I said before, VoLTE uses your smartphones cellular connection to make and receive voice calls. VoIP is designed to be as user friendly as possible, but behind the scenes, there are a lot of different technologies working simultaneously to allow you to make VoLTE calls.
As you can see from the diagram, there are lots of different stages to a VoLTE call, but I’ll break them down:
- Your phone makes connection with a 4G LTE cellular tower.
- The call data is sent as normal call data to the cell tower
- Once at the tower, the call is sent via VoIP to the call destination
- The caller then answers your VoLTE call using their VoIP/VoLTE enabled device
The technical workings of VoLTE
VoLTE is technically quite different to a regular voice call in the way it works. VoLTE sends your voice in packet data. This means that the signal of your voice is made up of 1s and 0s, just like any other form of IP based communication.
This might sound complicated, but in reality it is quite a simple concept. The technology put in place make VoLTE as seamless as any other form of modern communication.
What are the applications of VoLTE?
There are so many different ways that VoLTE can be used. Here are the most common:
When you join a video call or conference from your smartphone, your voice is being transmitted via VoLTE to the other parties.
On the road sales staff
Many businesses have sales and engineering staff out on the road These staff often need to communicate to their head office. Using VoLTE allows them to make high quality VoIP calls while they’re out and about.
Working from home
As working from home becomes more common, many businesses are choosing to adopt a VoLTE system for home workers using their mobiles. If your remote workers struggle with poor broadband and internet speeds, then they may wish to use VoLTE to compensate.
Are there any limitations to VoLTE?
Honestly, not really. The only major limitation of VoLTE is that it requires good signal strength and a reliable 4G connection. But in most UK locations, this isn’t an issue.
Poor signal strength can increase call latency and in the worst cases may cause dropouts. But generally, VoLTE calls are made in areas with good 4G strength and coverage.
How can VoLTE be used in business?
There are many different ways that a business can utilise the power of VoLTE. Whether it’s staff working on the road, or working from home; or having to take calls in cafes or in meetings. Here are some great ways that you can use VoLTE in your business:
VoIP mobile apps
Your business can use a mobile app on your smartphone to make and receive calls as though you were sat at your desk.
PIC OF MOBILE APP
Phone system integration
As businesses become more connected, integration becomes more important. Using VoLTE, you can seamlessly integrate your mobile with your business telephone system
As I mentioned before, you can use your VoLTE enabled phone to make and receive video calls while out and about. This allows on the road staff to join important meetings without being there.
What are the benefits of VoLTE?
As with any modern technology, there are many different benefits to VoLTE. But here’s some of my favourites:
- Higher quality voice
- Good coverage
- Cost saving
VoLTE provides businesses with better quality voice than when compared to traditional GSM mobile calls or ISDN calls. This is because your voice travels via an internet connection, meaning that the sample rate can be higher.
The reason that VoLTE is cheaper than traditional telephone calls is because it uses minimal data while active. VoLTE uses a very small part of your mobile data, rather than eating into your call minutes.
VoLTE is also cheaper because it can be used in conjunction with a cloud based VoIP telephone system. These cloud telephone systems use VoIP to send and receive calls. VoIP telephone systems can be up to 90% cheaper than their alternatives—saving your business on running costs.
Should my business use VoLTE?
To be honest, it depends. If your businesses has an office with a good, stable internet connection, then there really isn’t much point in using VoLTE. Because all of your VoIP enabled devices can use a wired or wireless internet connection instead.
There are some great use cases for VoLTE, however.
In general, VolTE might be a good option for your business if you have one of the following:
- Remote sales staff
- On the road workers
- Flexible working locations
- A large office that isn’t covered by WiFi
- Outdoor working
Just to be clear—this isn’t an exhaustive list. It just gives you a good outline as to why a business may want to use VoLTE. There are many other reasons too.
In fact, our VoIP telephone systems come with VoLTE built in. Using our VoIP mobile app, you can connect to your colleagues, prospects and customers.
What does 5G mean for VoLTE?
The advent and subsequent rollout of 5G will have a great impact on VoLTE. The faster communications standard with lower latency means that your VoLTE calls will be higher quality with even less latency than before.