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It took a while, but Sprint is finally rolling out VoLTE

Sprint is playing catch-up, since AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile rolled out VoLTE support in 2014.
By
October 3, 2018
TL;DR
  • Sprint announced its VoLTE rollout in 15 U.S. markets, which include New York City and Washington, D.C.
  • The gradual rollout will take place over the next few weeks, during which certain Samsung smartphone owners will see an update.
  • By comparison, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile started their VoLTE rollouts in 2014.

Usually behind the other major U.S. carriers when it comes to major rollouts, Sprint finally started its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) rollout in 15 U.S. markets.

As reported by S4GRU, the 15 markets include Atlanta-Athens, Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas, Missouri, New York City, Oregon-West Washington, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco Bay, South Bay, Southern Jersey, and Washington, D.C. The rollout will be gradual and take place over the next few weeks.

The rollout will be part of the October security patch for the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus, and Galaxy S8 Active. The update will replace the existing Calling Plus feature, which Sprint used as a stopgap for VoLTE.

After you download and install the update, you can switch on VoLTE if you go to Settings -> Connections -> Voice networks. From there, you can toggle VoLTE on or off.

If you do not have the three aforementioned Samsung smartphones, wait and see if a similar update arrives for your smartphone. Odds are you will get the update if your smartphone currently supports Calling Plus.

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If you do not live in one of the 15 initial soft-launch markets and own the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus, or Galaxy S8 Active, you might want to wait to download the update until VoLTE arrives where you live.

VoLTE support might not seem like a big deal, but it allows you to make calls over your LTE connection instead of a standard voice network. Not only do VoLTE calls connect faster than standard voice calls, but because of the added bandwidth, they also sound clearer.

This has been a long time coming for Sprint customers. AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile started their VoLTE rollouts in 2014, while Sprint was still in the testing stage in 2016. VoLTE seems more like a nice thing to have for Sprint, however, since it has fewer customers than the other three carriers and has a good amount of spectrum.