Whether you own an Android phone or iPhone, you may have noticed a mysterious “VoLTE” icon at the top of the screen, usually next to the Wi-Fi signal indicator. In short, there’s nothing to worry about: rather than being a warning of impending electric shock, it refers to the far more prosaic “voice over LTE” function. Here, in simple terms, is what VoLTE means – and how you can switch it on/off.
What is VoLTE?
Short for “voice over Long-Term Evolution”, VoLTE means that you’re making phone calls over the 4G data network, rather than the regular cellular voice channels. Confusingly, certain mobile network operators also refer to it as “4G Calling”, “HD Voice” or, in the case of Three, even “4G Super-Voice”.
VoLTE should improve the overall sound quality of the call. And if you need to look something up on your phone while you’re talking, you don’t need to worry that voice is hogging all the bandwidth – you can continue to use mobile data at the same time. Perfect for when you need to fire up Google Maps or, say, order a pizza while chatting to Auntie Sue.
But, as ever, there’s a downside…
The main issue is that your smartphone may not support VoLTE. However, if it’s reasonably new, there’s every chance that you can take advantage of the crystal-clear call coverage. Follow the link to your mobile network operator’s website to check if you’re in luck: EE, Three, O2, Vodafone and iD Mobile (if your network isn’t listed, it could be bad news, but it’s worth checking anyway).
How to switch VoLTE on/off
The many different “flavours” of Android mean the instructions below will vary slightly from phone to phone, but it should be something like:
- Go to Settings
- Tap Call or “Cellular networks”
- Toggle the “voice over LTE” option on or off
- The VOLTE icon at the top of the screen will then appear or disappear
- Go to Settings
- Tap Cellular
- Tap Cellular Data Options
- Select Enable LTE
- You’ll now see a screen with three options Off, Voice & Data and Data Only. Tap Voice & Data to switch on VoLTE.