The Big Blue network has had plans in place to support what’s called Voice over LTE (VoLTE) for quite some time now, but the rollout hasn’t been all that speedy. That’s beginning to lean in the other direction now, though, as the carrier has made a brief announcement confirming the technology is now beginning the baby steps necessary for a national rollout.
As it stands right now, VoLTE only works in “select” markets, and the person that gets the chance to use it will have to be connected to a single, but unspecified carrier. So, if you happen to be in one of the areas that AT&T is keeping secret, and you happen to be connected to the other carrier that is currently supported, you’ll be able to take advantage of VoLTE right now. Interestingly enough, AT&T did confirm that some form of VoLTE is active right now in 96% of its LTE coverage area, so it sounds like the groundwork has certainly been placed.
The benefits are VoLTE are faster data connections while making a call, so that means you can browse Safari faster, or keep up with Facebook, while you’re on a call without having to be restricted to 3G speeds, which it is, currently. On top of that, it will enable HD Voice on your iPhone, which should make calls clearer.
The carrier also confirmed that a national rollout of VoLTE is still coming, but as to when that will happen still remains a mystery.