Some AT&T customers can now make VoLTE calls to people on other carrier networks

By , Dec 31, 2015

AT&T Chicago store (interior 001)

United States carrier AT&T said yesterday that some of its customers in select areas can now make Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) calls to users on other carrier networks. Cross-network VoLTE calls are currently supported for just one unnamed carrier, but AT&T will eventually implement support for multiple carriers.

Unlike traditional calls that use a carrier’s voice network (which is separate from a 3G/4G data network), VoLTE calls use a 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network, resulting in crisp sound quality and optimized bandwidth use.

“I’m pleased to report this month we saw the first VoLTE exchange between our customers and another carrier in limited, select areas,” wrote AT&T’s Bill Smith. “We’re working with others on this same feature, too.”

AT&T’s VoLTE network currently covers about 295 million Americans, with more than 27 million active subscribers.

Other advantages of VoLTE technology on iPhones include the ability to simultaneously surf the web and talk at 4G speeds and support for HD Voice technology which produces more natural sounding audio by extending the frequency range of the audio signals, resulting in “remarkably clearer calls.”

To see if AT&T’s VoLTE network is available in your area and for your device, check out AT&T’s coverage viewer.

Source: AT&T

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  • A’s Network

    I hate when even AT&T mixes VoLTE and HD Voice up. You can always make a VoLTE call to any other phone number regardless of whether or not it uses VoLTE. However HD Voice doesn’t work between carriers unless cross HD Voice compatibility is enabled.

    Most likely this was enabled with T-Mobile. They’ve enabled HD Voice for a while and it would be smart for compatibility between both AT&T and T-Mobile.

    • Merman123

      You can’t place a VoLTE call between carriers. That is what AT&T is announcing here.

      • A’s Network

        Yea you can! VoLTE is just making a phone call when connected to LTE and you can call anyone through VoLTE. However you can not make HD Voice calls between carriers since as of right now there wasn’t exactly a standard in place that would enable cross compatibility until now

      • Merman123

        It wasn’t fully supported in the past. I remember my LTE changing to a weaker strength when making certain calls. They have now improved the compatibility. Not to mention, VoLTE and HD Voice go hand in hand, it’s just AT&T is rolling out the latter slower than I expected.

      • A’s Network

        I’ve been using VoLTE on Verizon as well as T-Mobile for a long time now, I’ve never experienced my phone dropping down to 1xRTT or HSPA for the call even when calling a POTS line. As far as I know VoLTE is just a way to bypass the circuit switch network.

        HD Voice however works off of HSPA, LTE, and Wi-Fi calling for the most part, however what sucks is it required both parties to be on the same carrier due to codec compatibility. Now that AT&T has standardized what T-Mobile has in some markets it is allowing cross compatibility with HD Voice on calls made through VoLTE!

      • Merman123

        Wait I’m confused , what’s your carrier ?

      • A’s Network

        I primarily use T-Mobile, but I have a Verizon and an AT&T line as well for testing purposes.

      • Merman123

        I just tried placing a call to a friend who has Verizon and LTE switched to 4G. I then called my girlfriend who is on AT&T and the call remained in LTE. Is 4G still technically considered “4G LTE” ?

      • A’s Network

        4G is HSPA+. That is odd, on my AT&T line I was able to call a Verizon line and remain on LTE the entire time.

        In that case it could just be the market I’m in!

      • Merman123

        Yeah I think that’s what this post is about. AT&T is improving compatability. Although I guess it hasn’t reached my area.