As carriers have introduced Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) throughout 2014, the days of real HD Voice calling are almost upon us. That is, as soon as carriers start working together. AT&T and Verizon are the first to announce that they will soon have VoLTE interoperability between their customers.
For those not familiar with VoLTE calling, understand that VoLTE currently only works within a carrier when both parties have supported devices. That means that if you have a VoLTE-ready phone, you can place an HD Voice call to another VoLTE-ready phone within the same carrier. As of today, you can’t place a VoLTE call from a Verizon phone to an AT&T or T-Mobile or Sprint phone.
Verizon and AT&T announced today that their engineers are already working through a set of requirements in a lab environment before moving into field tests of carrier-to-carrier VoLTE HD Voice calls.
They didn’t provide a time frame for when this interoperability could go live outside of “in 2015,” but did mention that they won’t stop with HD Voice calls. Once this testing is complete, we could see VoLTE video calls, rich messaging, and more down the road from carrier-to-carrier.