The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are the first Apple handsets to feature Voice over LTE, or VoLTE. The service allows users to utilize 4G wideband to make phone calls instead of standard voice service.
Before getting too excited, however, know that not everyone with an iPhone 6 will be able to use VoLTE on launch day. Much depends on coverage area and whether your carrier supports the technology.
To make or receive a VoLTE call, both parties must have VoLTE-enabled devices and be in an area where VoLTE is available. For now, the coverage area for VoLTE is very small in the United States — but should be growing significantly in the coming weeks and months.
AT&T’s HD Voice service is currently available in parts of Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The service will expand into other locations in the coming months.
Where the service is supported, Verizon customers can finally enjoy simultaneous voice and LTE on their iPhone. This isn’t possible on Verizon’s CDMA network.
T-Mobile will also offer VoLTE nationwide. They claim to be the only U.S. wireless carrier Apple has been working with on the technology.
Sprint plans on offering its own VoLTE service in mid-2015.
Regardless of carrier, switching between traditional voice and VoLTE is a seamless process. This means if you or the person you’re talking with travel outside a VoLTE coverage area, the call will automatically switch to standard voice service.
Apple will begin accepting online preorders for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus beginning tomorrow, Sept. 12 at 12:01 a.m. PDT. You’ll also be able to preorder the devices at Apple retail stores and wherever iPhones are sold.
The new phones launch in stores on Sept. 19.