Home - , - Verizon Says Prepaid VoLTE Announcement was a Mistake, It's Not Launching Until Sometime This Fall

Verizon Says Prepaid VoLTE Announcement was a Mistake, It's Not Launching Until Sometime This Fall

Yesterday Verizon Wireless posted an announcement on their web site bragging that "HD Voice is now available on Prepaid." HD Voice is Verizon's marketing name for VoLTE or Voice over LTE. VoLTE promises clearer calls, and more importantly, the ability to use voice and data simultaneously, which is not possible without VoLTE using current Verizon LTE phones.

However, prepaid customers who tried were unable to activate the HD Voice feature yesterday. Users who called Verizon customer support were told that nothing had changed and VoLTE was still only available to postpaid customers.

About eight hours after the prepaid VoLTE announcement was posted, it disappeared from Verizon's site. Of course, things posted on the web never really disappear. You can still see the page announcing Prepaid VoLTE in the Google Cache.

According to WirelessWeek, Verizon is now saying that Prepaid VoLTE was announced prematurely by mistake. VoLTE, along with Wi-Fi calling, 6 way conference calls and video calling will be available on Verizon Prepaid but not until sometime that fall. Fall starts Sept. 22 and ends Dec. 20 this year so it could be a while before Prepaid customers see VoLTE.

At this time, Verizon VoLTE only works between two Verizon VoLTE phones. All the major US carriers including Verizon are working on enabling interoperability across carriers and between VoLTE and non-VoLTE phones, but full interoperability is probably a year or two away.

Verizon has announced that it wants to shut down 2G service by the end of 2019. Currently all non-VoLTE voice traffic on Verizon uses 2G as Verizon's EVDO 3G protocol is data only. That means that Verizon needs to insure that their VoLTE is filly interoperable and every postpaid, prepaid and MVNO customer has a VoLTE capable phone and VoLTE service by then. That seems like a tall order considering that it's taking them weeks, maybe months to flip the switch that grants prepaid customers access to a feature that their network already supports.

If you are curious which current Verizon phones support VoLTE, see this Verizon postpaid phone purchase page which is filtered to show only HD Voice capable phones.

Source: WirelessWeek

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17 comments:

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  1. I think Verizon moves a the speed of molasses. The only reason I would like to have VoLTE is to browse and talk at the same time but I don't really even do that simultaneously as I try to focus on one thing or the other.

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  2. At this rate, prepaid customers can expect HD voice within a few months to a year after Verizon's already shut down 2G.

    You know, because Big Red is a bitter, entitled carrier that loathes its own customers.

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    1. I think they do try to make their post paid business their main priority and are now shy about making it known. They do treat prepaid and MVNO's as second class citizens. They even seem proud about it but ALL customers are making possible for them to be at the top where they are, they should at least be a little more thankful and show it.

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    2. Of course we are second class citizens. We are deprioritized, throttled, proxied, not allowed to roam, etc, etc. I'd still rather save the $40 a month!

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    3. "not allowed to roam..."

      Having the Verizon network and "not being allowed to roam" is like flying business class across the Atlantic and having plastic forks instead of metal silverware.

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  3. From Fierce Wireless:
    "Verizon representatives didn’t answer repeated questions from FierceWireless about the availability of VoLTE for its prepaid customers"

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  4. I also called to find out and the Verizon reps are saying that the HD calling feature is not available to prepaid accounts but nothing else.

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  5. Des anybody know if postpaid and prepaid Sprint accounts have the VoLTE capability?

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    1. I don't think Sprint has any plans of implementing VoLTE in the near future. See an excerpt from an article in fiercewireles.com:

      "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"

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    2. Sprint does not yet support VoLTE for postpaid or prepaid customers.
      AT&T and Verizon support VoLTE for postpaid customers, but not prepaid ones.
      T-Mobile supports VoLTE for both postpaid and prepaid customers.

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    3. Sprint: "...carrier aggregation and beamforming..."

      Great obfuscating language there, Ol' Yeller. Any company basically languishing and letting itself go can just smile and say "I'm beamforming"

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  6. "At this time, Verizon VoLTE only works between two Verizon VoLTE phones. All the major US carriers including Verizon are working on enabling interoperability across carriers and between VoLTE and non-VoLTE phones, but full interoperability is probably a year or two away."

    Incorrect. VoLTE works regardless of who you're calling, including landlines. "HD Voice", however, currently only works between Verizon customers who have VoLTE turned on.

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    1. That may be true with some carriers, but not Verizon unless things have changed very recently. From Fierce Wireless earlier this year:

      "Currently, Verizon customers can only make VoLTE calls if they have a VoLTE-enabled smartphone and are calling another Verizon customer with a VoLTE-enabled smartphone. Likewise AT&T customers with VoLTE-enabled smartphones can only make VoLTE calls with another AT&T customer with a VoLTE-enabled smartphone." Verizon, AT&T miss initial VoLTE interoperability target, promise it will happen this year | FierceWireless.

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    2. There's a lot of confusion going around regarding this. On Verizon, if you have "Advanced Calling" aka "HD Voice" aka "VoLTE" enabled on your end, your end of the call will always be going over LTE, regardless of who you're calling. This is what allow simultaneous voice and data on Verizon devices released in the past ~2 years. If you're calling someone outside of the Verizon network, your part of the call will still be going over LTE, but once it hits Verizon's circuits, it gets transcoded back down to traditional low-bitrate audio and sent along to the receiving carrier/party.

      For example, here's Verizon's HD Voice for iOS FAQ:
      https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/hd-voice-for-ios-faqs/

      "HD Voice [the feature that you enable on your Verizon account] enables simultaneous voice and 4G LTE data capability for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. With HD Voice [the feature], when you're connected to the Verizon 4G LTE network, you can surf the web, continue a download, use an application, or use a feature like Mobile Hotspot while talking on a call, regardless of whether the person you're calling has HD Voice or not."

      The increased voice quality from HD Voice is only available if you're calling another Verizon customer, and AT&T and Verizon have been working to get this better voice quality going between them.

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  7. Can anyone really tell the difference between VoLTE voice and 2G/3G voice?

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    1. I could tell on the very few VoLTE calls I had when I was with T-Mobile. The best way I can compare it was almost to a high quality Wi-Fi call. Very clear.

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  8. Does MetroPCS support VoLTE?

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