Most people still don't know the joy of placing an HD Voice call from their smartphone, but Verizon and AT&T say they're working together to change that. Today both carriers announced that they expect to reach VoLTE (voice over LTE) interoperability sometime in 2015. Those are the two biggest wireless providers in the United States, so once support's there, a whole lot of consumers will quickly start experiencing the huge leap in quality that comes with HD calls. HD Voice routes calls over each carrier's 4G LTE technology to achieve clearer, better conversations.
Verizon and AT&T are laying the groundwork with a focus on calls, but video calling and richer messaging are also part of their longer-term plans. "Interoperability among VoLTE service providers in the United States and around the world will create a better and richer mobile experience for customers," the companies said in a joint statement. Engineers from both companies have already been conducting lab tests to get the high-quality calls up and running, and next they'll be trying some real world tests out in the field.
Customers can expect to see interoperability sometime in 2015, but neither company is getting more specific than that on a timeframe. Only certain phones support VoLTE features right now: on Verizon, those include the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S5, and LG's G2. Hopefully by the time the carriers deliver on their promise, that device lineup will be much bigger on both sides. Verizon has already rolled out VoLTE services nationwide, but HD Voice calls on AT&T currently remain limited to select markets. Both carriers say they hope to offer similar interoperability with other US providers in the future.