Verizon preparing improved voice calls, video chat with 4G LTE network

Verizon 4GVerizon Wireless says it will begin funneling voice calls over its new 4G LTE network, reports CNN. The new service, says Verzion, will allow for crisper, clearer “high-definition” voice calls, and let users to enjoy video chat functionality over its network.

Verizon announced the nation’s first 4G LTE network last December, and unveiled its portfolio of 4G-enabled devices — everything from the Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot to the Motorola Xoom tablet — at this year’s CES. 

In the past, Verizon has said it will route voice calls through its standard CDMA network, and reserve LTE for high-load data transfers. But according to Verizon’s executive director for ecosystem development, Brian Higgins, who spoke with CNN, the wireless company will begin sending voice calls, text messages and video content through LTE as well.

Higgins says Verizon will unveil the VoLTE (Voice Over Long-Term Evolution) service at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, next week, where they will demonstrate the new network on LG’s Revolution 4G smartphone. (When the Revolution 4G launches later this year, however, it will not yet be VoLTE-enabled.)

Verizon’s 4G LTE network is expected to allow download speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps, and upload speeds of between 2 and 5 Mbps, and will be as widely available as its current 3G network — the largest in the U.S. — by 2013.

In addition to improvements to the sound quality of voice calls, the 4G LTE network will also allow for better video chat quality. Customers who plan to use the newly-released Verizon iPhone 4 will, of course, be able to use the phone’s pre-loaded with FaceTime video chat functionality over Verizon’s current network. But LTE will make it far better, the company says.

Skype may already have an iPhone app. But the videos are grainy. Over LTE, that will be improved. In fact, Verizon and Skype are already working together on a video conferencing feature that will reportedly work on the LG Revolution (and probably other 4G devices).

Like T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network, and Sprint’s WiMax, Verizon’s 4G LTE is not, technically, true “4G,” according to the strict guidelines set by the International Telecommunications Union. But for now — and for the foreseeable future — it’s as good as we’ve got.

Computing

Latest Skype preview now lets you chat with up to 50 people on a video call

The latest beta version of Skype is introducing an ability to enter a video call with up to 50 people, a change from the current public version which has a maximum limit of 25 participants.
Mobile

Free yourself! How to unlock a phone from the icy hands of your wireless carrier

Do you want to know how to unlock a phone through your carrier or a third-party service like DoctorSIM? Regardless of which way you want to go, we've compiled a list of requirements and methods for doing so.
Mobile

5G is going to cost you a few bucks more, at least on Verizon

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.
Mobile

Moto Z3's 5G Moto Mod will finally be available for pre-order starting March 14

Buckle up your Moto Mods and get ready -- the Motorola Moto Z3 is finally almost here. Boasting flagship specs and a classic Motorola design, the phone is set to be a serious contender for anyone looking for a flagship-like phone.
Movies & TV

Apple bet big on TV and movie projects. Here’s what we know about them so far

Apple has an ambitious slate of original programming it has been developing in recent years, so will the March 25 event finally reveal when — and where — we will be able to see some of these TV shows and movies?
Mobile

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.
Mobile

Apple’s new iPads are hardly new at all. Don’t waste your money

It has taken Apple four years to get around to updating the iPad Mini line, but the new iPad Mini is virtually identical to its predecessor. It’s joined by a confusing iPad Air with no obvious target audience. Is Apple just trying to sell…
Mobile

These voice-changing apps will have you punking friends and family like a pro

Have you ever wanted to call your friends as Darth Vader or Alvin from the Chipmunks? If you want to play a prank on your friends, we have the best voice-changer apps for iOS and Android, whether you want to record audio or make a call.
Mobile

iPad Air vs. iPad Mini: Which new tablet from Apple is best for you?

Apple has unveiled two new iPad models, including a new iPad Air and a new iPad Mini. Both devices have a lot to offer. But which iPad is right for your needs? We put the iPad Air and iPad Mini to the test to find out.
Deals

The best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods, nice as they are, aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, and if you're looking to buy a pair of high-end in-ear headphones, we've got the best AirPod alternatives on the…
Mobile

Even older Apple Watches could be effective at spotting heart conditions

The Apple Watch Series 4 is known for detecting heart conditions like atrial fibrillation thanks to having an electrocardiograph feature. It turns out that older Apple Watches could be effective at tracking AFib, too.
Deals

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for March 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Deals

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for March 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for March 2018.
Deals

Amazon drops price on Apple Watch Series 4 with a rare deal

Since Apple first unveiled the Series 4, the price for one has pretty much held fast. This has finally started to change with a nice little $15 discount on Amazon. If you've been wanting the newest Apple Watch, now is a great time.