Voice-over-LTE, or VoLTE, has been talked about for quite some time by wireless carriers, though it still isn’t offered nationwide by any of the big U.S. wireless operators. That’s expected to change this year as AT&T and Verizon roll-out VoLTE support — which uses the LTE data network for voice calls, as opposed to older networks — and apparently Apple’s iPhone 6 will be ready to support the new tech.
The news comes from a fresh report published by 9to5Mac that covers much of what the site has already discussed in regards to iOS 8 and the iPhone 6. Unless it’s just going to be marketed as something else, like HD Voice, VoLTE will require new hardware inside of the iPhone 6, and iOS 8 will obviously have to reflect that hardware.
That means that it’s unlikely any changes in iOS 8 will add VoLTE support to older iPhones, like the iPhone 5s. Since AT&T and Verizon are moving in the direction of VoLTE support and have promised roll-outs this year in the U.S., it’s probably pretty likely that Apple is working to make sure the iPhone 6 supports the next generation technology. Meanwhile, Sprint and T-Mobile have marked “HD Voice” networks which also offer clearer voice calls, though they don’t operate the same way that VoLTE does — and the iPhone 5s already supports HD voice. Both carriers will also likely roll-out VoLTE support.
If these changes do actually end up occurring, we expect to hear Apple discuss them in more detail during WWDC 2014 this summer.