Ever since it lost the exclusive right to sell the iPhone in the United States in 2011, AT&T has touted a key advantage that its network has over Verizon’s: the ability to talk on the phone while using data from another app simultaneously. While simultaneous voice and data became possible on Verizon once the company’s 4G LTE network went live, hardware limitations on iPhone 5 prevented customers from being able to use it. More than three years later, Verizon iPhone customers will finally gain the same feature, as long as they’re using one a new phone.
New iPhone owners on Verizon’s network don’t just get the latest hardware Apple has to offer. After years of having to choose between voice calls and surfing the web, they can do both thanks to support for Voice over LTE (VoLTE): The carrier has quickly added the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to its list of Advanced Calling 1.0 phones according to MacRumors. That means the new Apple iPhones — as well as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and LG G2 — can send voice calls over the Verizon LTE data network. Since the voice calling is simply another form of data, customers can continue to surf the web while on a VoLTE call. Additionally, when both callers are on VoLTE, the sound quality is improved through HD Voice which uses a wideband audio codec for better sound. Verizon first announced its Advanced Calling 1.0 rollout last month for saying it would be available in the coming weeks. The timing coincided nicely with the new iPhone launch on September 19 and know we know why. Record pre-orders and high demand for the iPhone 6 combined with Verizon’s effort to expand LTE capacity make for a fast, widespread rollout of VoLTE. Note that there is an iOS 8 setting to use VoLTE on the new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.