VoLTE technology has been receiving a lot of media attention over the past few months, especially with the new iPhone 6 launch. VoLTE came about as operators wanted to create a standardized system to transfer voice calls over the new LTE data network. It also takes advantage of new developments in smartphones to offer a totally new generation of voice calling.
The main difference between VoIP and VoLTE is the technology it uses. VoIP is based on any web-based transfer of data, such as 3G, WiFi and ADSL, which are widespread and easy to access. For modern smartphones, this is powerful technology with very few barriers to entry, meaning developers can add VoIP easily.
VoLTE takes advantage of new LTE technologies and the 4G network, and whilst it does offer faster bandwidth and speed, it is still in its infancy and has yet to be fully rolled out, and so is not as widespread as VoIP. It is optimized for modern smartphones and the next generation of data technology.
VoIP has a great legacy and powers some of the most popular apps on the market today (WhatsApp, WeChat, etc), but its quality relies on the type of connection between sender and receiver.
Signals Research, a large research group that specialize on wireless communications research, tested VoLTE against standard 3G data technologies and found that VoLTE offered
“…considerably better call quality, faster connectivity and substantially less drain on the batteries of their mobile devices.”
Signals Research also gave a video presentation to release the data they found in their research. You can watch that below.
Finally, compared to VoIP some developers have noted that VoLTE has elements of a “walled garden” with thousands of patents and SIP+telco-proprietary-modifications. VoIP it seems, is both more open source and developer friendly at the moment.
So what are the differences between VoIP and VoLTE? We have compiled a shortlist:
|Meaning||Voice over IP||Voice over LTE network|
|Audience||Web, VoIP phones||Modern smartphones|
|Reliability||Often drops packets of data under stress||Higher bandwidth and quality|
|Coverage||Widespread||4G still rolling out|
|Subscribers||34 million||284 thousand (4G)|
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