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T-Mobile VoLTE has Gone Live in Seattle

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Begun, the VoLTE wars have. A few days after Verizon announced its VoLTE intentions and AT&T flipped the switch on VoLTE in a few cities, T-Mobile has made an advancement of its own. Starting today, T-Mobile customers who own a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or LG G Flex can take advantage of VoLTE in Seattle, Washington.

VoLTE dramatically improves the quality of voice during phone calls. It also has the added benefit of letting you use LTE data while on call. Plus, T-Mobile says, call setup times are almost twice as fast as non-VoLTE calls (for whatever that’s worth). 

If you own one of the two compatible handsets, check this post for instructions on how to get the update that enables VoLTE compatibility.

Via: T-Mobile
  • mcdonsco

    Seems to me T-Mobile should be more focused on expanding its data network than anything else. Their voice/text network is fine, but data is a completely different story…fix that T-Mobile! Once you do, I’ll consider switching and dealing with those obnoxious magenta icons all over my phone.

  • Rambocombo

    Verizon and Sprint will have a tough time migrating to VOLTE because of handoff compatibility to thier respective 2G and 3G networks this is why GSM rules. Great read below.
    https://gigaom.com/2014/05/22/not-to-be-outdone-by-att-t-mobile-launches-voice-over-lte-in-seattle-on-3-smartphones/

    • flosserelli

      Now it makes sense why VZW wants to wait for a nationwide rollout. But until their LTE towers blanket the entire country, users will still drop calls in “handoff” areas.

    • AA-Ron

      I’m on tmobile and I use Volte on a daily basis. My when I get to a spot where there is no LTE my calls drop.

  • Nate Bousfield

    So does AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile VoLTE work with each other? That makes sense, but is what makes me think it doesn’t.

  • ki11ak3nn

    well sucks for me and my G2.

  • bionicwaffle

    How about the battery life? Can you even get half the talk-time that you can when making a non-VoLTE call?

    Everything else about VoLTE is great but I don’t want to kill my battery life for it. Does anyone have stats?

  • Cowboydroid

    I’ve never had a problem using data while on a call on T-Mobile.

    The faster call setup times would sure be nice, though.

    • Andrew

      Currently when on LTE, your data speed drops back to HSPA+ speeds while on a call. VoLTE will fix that.

  • aBabyPenguin

    Is it safe to say that any phone with LTE could potentially use VoLTE? In my case, the Moto X?

  • kali bred

    This has nothing to do with this article but does anyone know if for xlte you had to do a system update? If so I’ll be missing out on it until foxfi is working for moto x kitkat

    • AA-Ron

      You do not need an update to take advantage of XLTE. Worked fine for me.

  • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

    Meanwhile T-Mobile is still running 1990’s tech here with their awesome GPRS service…

  • Willie D

    T-Mobile had VoLTE long before Verizon or AT&T did, it was actually the merger with MetroPCS that gave them that title. MetroPCS users have been able to use VoLTE in former MetroPCS LTE areas for over a year. Also these are not the only two devices with VoLTE capability, however, the only two that are enabled without a software update push. The LG G2 is capable of this too.

    • Rambocombo

      I know your not even mentioning Metro PCS botched VOLTE before TMO….That does not count they were running LTE up and Down on 5mhz channels 2.5 up and down compared to the 5×5 , 10×10 or 20×20 setup of the big boys. That VOLTE launch was more an “we had it first ” matra rather than actual engineering . One thing that Tmo and ATT have being GSM based is the Volte to HSPA + call handoff should be rather seemless. Sprint and Verizon will have a tough time once you leave a VOLTE area your back to EVDO for data and CDMA voice. That will take some engineering ….interested to see how they attack it. Im confident in verizon sprint NOT SO MUCH.

      • Sundedo

        For Verizon, there is no hand down for VoLTE to 3g1x. The call will drop. Hence the push for LTE/3G parity. Then there is no need to hand down.

  • El_Big_CHRIS

    Go T-Mobile! Make noise, hopefully Verizon may budge. Need them data prices to go down man.

    • K

      I don’t think anything is going to make Verizon budge anytime soon

      • El_Big_CHRIS

        You may be right. At least when Verizon takes unlimited from my cold dead hands, T-Mobile network would be stronger.

      • flosserelli

        Verizon is not about to start slashing prices just yet. But if they continue losing customers like they did in Q1, they may finally make some real changes, and not just smoke & mirrors labeled as “new” plans.

        • enigmaco

          They need to do something we are grandfathered in with the 700 minute family plan and all the new plans they have raise our bills without any added benefits so they are not helping us at all.

        • bionicwaffle

          They made real changes for me. I changed to the “save” plan and I’m paying a few bucks less a month, I have the same 2GB of data, and I have unlimited calling and messaging where I had no messaging and only 450 minutes before.

          I’m sure I could still to better with other carriers but for where I live and work nobody else can really compete. I’ve had Sprint and AT&T.

      • michael arazan

        The only that makes verizon budge is more money

  • http://thatgeekdad.blogspot.com/ Rob Delaney

    This is awesome. A city with population of 640,000 gets VoLTE. Only 316,360,000 left to cover in the US alone. Sigh…….

    • flosserelli

      Big things have small beginnings. How many Verizon and Sprint customers have VoLTE?

      • rawr

        Why would you want it on VZW, data is already had to come by without paying overages…

        • flosserelli

          I am told VoLTE will be billed as talk minutes, not data usage. Technically both are using data, so it doesn’t make much sense to me…but whatever.

      • http://thatgeekdad.blogspot.com/ Rob Delaney

        Don’t get me wrong, I love T-Mo and wish I could have them in my area but there is zero coverage for almost 50 miles around me. This just sounds like a bad knee jerk reaction to Verizon’s two announcements of the release of XLTE in a lot of cities and that VoLTE will be released in the coming months in the same fashion, a broad manner. If T-Mo was really planning something way way way ahead of time, it would have been many cities all at once like the XLTE release. Making an announcement of something this big then saying it only affects Seattle and the surrounding areas almost makes the announcement a joke if it wasn’t more sad than funny.

    • Willie D

      When T-Mobile says Seattle, they mean the Seattle-Tacoma market, that includes every city from Lynnwood to Bellevue, Renton, Seattle, Burien, Auburn, Fed Way, etc… Much more than 640,000 people, try nearly 3 million.

      • http://thatgeekdad.blogspot.com/ Rob Delaney

        So almost 1% of America! Sweet!

  • flosserelli

    • The Narrator

      T-Mobile knows how to do one thing, at least*

      • http://thatgeekdad.blogspot.com/ Rob Delaney

        ^One small city at a time

        • The Narrator

          Small? wut

      • enigmaco

        At least its a option for people that don’t want to be screwed by at&t or verizon I like them they have always treated me well good job t-mobile.

        • The Narrator

          Their service is great in the areas heavily covered.

          • K

            Yup. Stick to whatever city they’re in and you’re bound to have excellent coverage with fast data speeds. Travel out and it’s evident why Verizon charges what they charge

          • Willie D

            But that’s changing since T-Mobile not only is moving their 2G to a 4G network, by passing HSPA+ completely on that, and forcing VoLTE enabled in these areas, but also with the 700Mhz spectrum they bought from Verizon, and the new 600Mhz spectrum upcoming in auctions, T-Mobile should be able to cover much more ground much faster than anticipated. It should be noted that T-Mobile has licences in AWS for the entire country, even areas it does not currently serve. It chooses not to deploy in those areas due to cost infrastructure and incumbent carriers customer numbers unwilling to switch to a newer less robust network that is being built out.

          • GinaDee

            “Chooses not to deploy…” is key. Cheap bastards.

          • Cowboydroid

            You’d rather they go out of business wasting money on unprofitable ventures?

          • enigmaco

            I am sensing some hidden resentment from you did you have a bad experience with t-mobile or something?

          • NorCalGuy

            Ya someone who knows what they r talking about

          • enigmaco

            Yeah hopefully they get the lower spectrum in the next auction. That will be helpful to expand the coverage some.

          • Dave

            Really?

        • GinaDee

          Are you saying you’d rather be screwed by T-Mobile?

          T-Mobile does what it needs to do to survive. They offer less coverage, more SOS in buildings with more 2G only areas and in return give you unlimited data. It’s a trade off.

          • enigmaco

            It meets my needs before lte building penatration was not great. But since they turned on the lte it’s not a issue. It’s not for everyone but it serves a purpose.

          • michael arazan

            I’ve been screwed by T-Mo, it’s why I left and went to Verizon in Jan 2010