Three will bring 4G calls to a number of high-end phones in Autumn this year, boosting reception, call quality and call times in one go – and the service is already confirmed for Apple’s next iPhone.
Current cutting-edge phones including the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are confirmed to get the new service from Three, as is the iPhone 7 (or whatever Apple’s new phone will be called when it’s unveiled later in 2015).
Bryn Jones, Three’s chief technology officer said that the service would start hitting phones in the Autumn, hopefully by the end of September. By then, Vodafone should have launched its own 4G calling service too.
So-called VoLTE (Voice over LTE) calls will arrive in tandem with Three rolling out 4G services on the 800MHz frequency.
Because this frequency is better at penetrating walls than signals on the 1800MHz band which Three currently uses for 4G, it’s better suited to improve indoor coverage. Data on the 800MHz band can also travel longer distances, meaning Three can deliver VoLTE calls to more customers without having to set up more masts.
Benefits of VoLTE include high-definition voice calls and faster connection times. Calls should connect virtually instantly, meaning the second you tap the dialler on your phone, it should start ringing.
What is WiFi Calling and what’s the point of 4G calls anyway?At the same time as Three starts bringing VoLTE services to device on its network, it’ll also start integrating the Three inTouch WiFi Calling service.
This will essentially work in the same way that EE WiFi Calling does – you’ll be able to make WiFi calls natively, straight from the regular phone dialler without having to open up a separate app.
Unlike EE, Three won’t launch WiFi Calling on a device until it’s got the handover process working, which means you’ll be able to start a call when you’re connected to WiFi, leave home or the office and then once you’ve moved out of range of your wireless router the call will continue, as your phone will have handed it over to the network.
We’ve got a full list of phones that have been confirmed to work with Three’s VoLTE and WiFi Calling service so far:
- Apple iPhone 6
- Apple iPhone 6 Plus
- Apple iPhone 7/the next iPhone
- Samsung Galaxy S4
- Samsung Galaxy S5
- Samsung Galaxy S6
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
- Samsung Galaxy Alpha
- Samsung Galaxy A3
- Samsung Galaxy A5
- Samsung Galaxy Note 3
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4
- LG G3
- LG G4
- HTC One (M9)
- Microsoft Lumia 735
- Microsoft Lumia 640
- Huawei Honor 6+