It certainly seems like 2014 is going to be the year of voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) activations across the United States. T-Mobile has already started to light up some networks, like Seattle, and today announced that the service is also now live in San Francisco. Meanwhile, AT&T also started activating VoLTE markets in late May, and Verizon is expected to bring some of its markets online in the coming months.
Voice-over-LTE uses an IP-based data connection to place phone calls, instead of a circuit-switched network connection, which promises much clearer calls since more data can be transferred during the call. It’s not supported by every phone just yet, on T-Mobile you’re limited to the Xperia Z, G Flex and Galaxy Note 3 for now, but additional handsets are expected this year. One is the iPhone 6 which, for a while now, is expected to launch with VoLTE support baked in with iOS 8.
No word yet on how quickly T-Mobile plans to expand its VoLTE network, but it’s certainly going to be racing against AT&T and Verizon this summer.