By Stephen Schenck | February 28, 2012 11:31 AM
We love LTE for its just-short-of-ridiculous data speeds, oftentimes even exceeding our home, wired connections. That breakneck speed is just one part of the story, and there are plenty of other aspects of LTE that we’d be doing the technology a disservice by forgetting. One that keeps coming up but has yet to make a big impact is voice service over LTE, or VoLTE. We’ve heard carriers talk about it, and we should be seeing increased testing throughout the year. VoLTE should not only deliver higher-quality audio than we’re used to for cellular voice calls, but will ultimately help free-up voice spectrum for even more 4G deployment. As if all that wasn’t cool enough, now LG’s demonstrating yet another way LTE hopes to change the way we make phone calls, showing in-call transitions from voice to video chat.
From the mixed enthusiasm we’ve seen towards video calls so far, it doesn’t look like voice calls will going away anytime soon, but the ability to quickly switch back-and-forth between the two could go a long way towards encouraging users to experiment more with the possibilities of video chat.
The important thing about LG’s demonstration is that the technology follows the IP Multimedia Subsystem Profile for Conversational Video Service, meaning that it’s part of an industry-wide standard. When LG’s first phones arrive with this feature, you won’t just be stuck talking to other LG users, but anyone with the right hardware and software. For now, there’s no word on when we might hope to see this tech in future phones.