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Google Confirms Some Project Fi Users Already Enjoying VoLTE

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Google recently confirmed reports that they have started testing Voice over LTE (VoLTE) network connections for a small amount of its users. Along with the announcement, Google shared that users will be able to determine that they've been added to the group of people testing the network when they see LTE on their signal indicator while they are on a call. Normally, this would change to H (for HSPA).

The rumors about Google testing VoLTE first emerged when Project Fi customers started to notice the change. And true enough, they were part of the group Google chose to test the network connection on.

As its background, Project Fi can be considered as an MVNO that operates under Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular. Compared to other MVNOs, Project Fi doesn't rely on just one network. This is what makes it so different from other MVNOs since it can easily switch to the best network at any possible time. The service, however, is currently available on select devices such as the Google Pixel, Nexus 5X, and the Nexus 6P.

Out of the three networks it runs, T-Mobile is the only one that supports VoLTE connection. So if you're using Project Fi and you're in an area where T-Mobile's network is being used, you may be part of the people testing VoLTE.

And if you are, you may have already enjoyed some of the advantages VoLTE gives to Project Fi users such as a higher call quality, calls that don't count towards your data allocation, faster call setup, and faster data browsing while you're on a call. When you're using the network, you'll be able to navigate Google Maps while you're on a call and not worry about a lost connection.

Although Google has confirmed that they are already testing VoLTE on select Project Fi users, they have not identified a specific time when this service will be available to all users. The company promises that they would give an update as soon as they move to the next testing stage.


Source: TechCrunch

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18 comments:

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  1. Plan is expensive tho...

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    1. Agreed - especially when you consider the forced usage of Google's own phones. I refuse to buy a phone that doesn't allow for an SD card.

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    2. Plan is good for a specific niche: low data users who travel internationally.

      Sanctimonious Ape, I'm with you on the phone restriction thing. Frankly, I'm not sure how the policy isn't grounds for an anti-trust investigation. That being said, I've read reports of Fi service working on other Android phones; not necessarily as well as on Google/Fi phones, but still working.

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    3. I plan to use Fi phone to go to Europe this year. The coverage is inadequate for the US, but the international roaming situation seems great. I will buy a phone just to use for the time of my trip, and sell it afterwards. So such design flaws as the lack of a MicroSD slot won't be as onerous.


      It's hard to imagine any validity to an antitrust case here. Project Fi is one of many many small operators. And also the phone manufacturers involved are just one or two out of dozens.

      One company out of many is nothing like a trust.

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    4. Antitrust could come into play because a Google carrier overtly allows only phones with the most Google involvement (sales/support/design) to work. Mind you, the spectrum Fi operates on is owned by the people.

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    5. No; you don't understand anti-trust laws.

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  2. The forced use of Google's own phones may be due to the fact that each cellular providor will require special software that is for VOLTE.

    Why they each cannot make an app to allow that is beyond me.

    The apps have permission for many aspects of the phone, including data and calling. And we also see that the carriers can tell which app you are using.

    So put it all together and allow us to use any phone that is unlocked and just give us an VOLTE that configures the VOLTE.

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    1. "The forced use of Google's own phones may be due to the fact that each cellular providor will require special software that is for VOLTE."

      Sorry, I'm not buying this. We're supposed to believe that Google, a notoriously fickle company, has been planning and designing its requirements for a feature that wasn't even available to Fi until recently? CSFB works just fine.

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  3. When is Boom! Getting VoLTE?

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    1. After Verizon Prepaid gets it.

      "When is Boom! Getting VoLTE?"

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    2. Verizon prepaid already got it since September last year. That's why people want to know when they are bringing it to Boom

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  4. Project Fi questions:

    There are TWO Nexus 5x models. One US, and one international. I Assume I need to get the International one to go to Europe?

    Will it work in the US at all?

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    1. US model should work fine in Europe, with data bands 1, 3, 7 and 20, plus all GSM bands. Check which bands are supported in the countries you will visit, but you should be fine.

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    2. There are 3 5X models, not 2. Compare all the radio specs here:
      http://www.gsmarena.com/lg_nexus_5x-7556.php

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    3. The global model lacks band 5 (used by AT&T) and doesn't work on Sprint or Verizon. You need the US model for Project FI.

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    4. Thanks. Was the Project Fi website really selling it new for $100 until a month ago? Or did I misread.

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    5. No, but the 5x was $199 with new Project Fi activation for a while.

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  5. Thanks. Looking at a used 23GB model for $220 to take to Europe.

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