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Sprint adds Voice over LTE years after everyone else

Published Oct 3rd, 2018 11:34PM EDT
Sprint Voice over LTE support
Image: Shutterstock

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Voice over LTE is a mature technology that allows for higher-quality voice calls over the 4G LTE protocol, rather than using the standard cellular voice system. It’s been standard issue on high-end phones on most American networks for years now, but then again, Sprint isn’t most networks.

The company has finally started a soft launch of VoLTE, with a couple of Samsung devices and 15 regions getting the feature right now. More cities and phones are being promised in the coming weeks, but it’s unclear whether it will be completely rolled out before T-Mobile formally gobbles up Sprint.

At launch, the Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, and S8 Active have VoLTE enabled. You’ll need to go into your Voice Networks setting to enable it; if you’re on a compatible device in an included market and the option still doesn’t become available, a restart may help.

The included markets are:

  • Atlanta-Athens
  • Chicago
  • Dallas-Ft. Worth
  • Houston
  • Indianapolis
  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • New York City
  • Oregon-West Washington
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh
  • San Francisco Bay
  • South Bay
  • Southern Jersey
  • Washington, DC

Sprint has been filling the gap with a proprietary service it calls Calling PLUS. That enabled calls over Wi-Fi as well as over LTE, although the company always pushed the biggest benefit as being able to use data whilst also on a voice call. Calling PLUS is being replaced by VoLTE, and will be disabled progressively as VoLTE rolls out in new markets.

Chris Mills
Chris Mills News Editor

Chris Mills has been a news editor and writer for over 15 years, starting at Future Publishing, Gawker Media, and then BGR. He studied at McGill University in Quebec, Canada.