G – Generation of technology.
LTE – Long-term evolution is a specific broadband mobile data standard based on capacity and speed (a fourth generation mobile standard or 4G).
VoLTE (HD Voice) – Voice over long-term evolution, the practice of packetizing voice over the Internet Protocol (VoIP) and transporting both the signaling and media components over a 4G LTE data path.
Low-Band 5G and 4G – 600 to 850 MHz (30 to 250 Mbit/s)
Mid-Band 5G – 2.5 to 3.7 GHz (100 to 900 Mbit/s, closer to cable internet speeds and bandwidth)
Why Is VoLTE an Important Evolution in Wireless Data?
The speed and capacity of a network isn’t just based on technical bandwidth, it’s also impacted by the efficiency of the data transferred on the network. The less bandwidth required for voice communication – traditional phone calls – the more bandwidth is available for other types of data.
Can All Wireless Phones Benefit from VoLTE?
No – the network, the customer’s device and its firmware must be working on the VoLTE wireless standard. However, the average consumer would be hard pressed to find a cell phone today that isn’t VoLTE optimized.
By the end of 2019 there were 194 wireless network operators in 91 countries with VoLTE capable networks, with another 262 operators investing in VoLTE capabilities. The vast majority of major U.S. carriers operate VoLTE networks, and every new smartphone is VoLTE enabled.
AT&T is phasing out its network for devices that don’t support VoLTE and HD Voice in February 2022, while T-Mobile has already done so as of January 2021. That essentially means 3G phones that operated on legacy wireless systems will no longer work on their networks.
Since the vast majority of customers have 4G and 5G phones at this point, it’s a relatively safe time for carriers to consolidate their bandwidth in these later generation networks.
What’s the Difference Between VoIP and VoLTE?
VoIP is essentially voice over the internet, while VoLTE is voice over the LTE (wireless/mobile) data network. The technologies are relatively similar, it’s more of a difference in the network.
The Difference Between 4G LTE and 5G Ultra-Wideband
The biggest evolution between 4G and 5G is the frequency. By utilizing a significantly higher frequency 5G users have access to far more bandwidth than users on 4G LTE networks.
5G networks also packetize the voice traffic but the 5G equivalent to LTE is called New Radio (NR) so its voice service equivalent is Voice over NR (VoNR), sometimes termed Vo5G. Most consumers will likely continue using 4G for making actual calls until well into the next decade. In the near term many carriers will be reserving their 5G networks for data use (streaming HD video, music, etc.) while relegating less data-intensive calls to their older 4G networks.
Learn How SMART EC Can Make VoLTE and Vo5G More Efficient
The PCIe acceleration engines developed by SMART EC help network equipment providers increase voice channel processing density and reduce their equipment’s power and space demands. You can learn more about this technology on our website.