Does iP5 make calls over 3G or over LTE?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by stonyboys, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    #1
    Hey guys so reading about the features on my plan, I stumbled upon conference calling. Apparently on 3G, you can have 3 people on the line at a time, but on LTE you can have 6 people on the line at a time. So my question is, does iP5 make calls on 3G or on LTE?
     
  2. Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
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    Boston
    #2
    I believe the iphone 5 uses 3G and not LTE - at least my VZW iphone5
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    #3
    It depends on the carrier also. I'm in Australia and my carrier Telstra has a feature called HD Voice, which makes calls over LTE, as long as both the caller and the receiver are in LTE coverage.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
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    Singapore
    #4
    There's no such thing as voice over LTE, so the iPhone currently sports voice over 3G only.

    Perhaps it will come in the future...
     
  5. macrumors regular

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    Jun 25, 2012
    #5
    I beg to differ, the carrier I use does make calls over LTE if LTE is available.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

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    Oct 18, 2012
    #6
    I think he is referring to the iPhone 5's ability to use voice over LTE.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

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  8. ZacT94, Dec 23, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012

    macrumors regular

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    #8
    Not just iPhone 5. Most LTE phones in Australia that use Telstra make calls over LTE if it's available.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    #9
    To the best of my knowledge, the iPhone 5 would need one additional antenna to be able to utilize voice ove LTE. I doubt that the unit sold in Australia, or any place else, has that additional antenna.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    SnowLeopard OSX

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    #10

    Voice is over 3G, and data is over LTE. Otherwise the specs/features page would specify how much talk time you could get over LTE as opposed to only listing 3G talk time:

    http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html
     
  11. MattMJB0188, Dec 23, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012

    macrumors 68000

    MattMJB0188

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    Dec 28, 2009
    #11
    Because US carriers do NOT CURRENTLY have VoLTE, it is assumed its not supported on any version of the iPhone 5.

    There is a (nicer) world outside the US people!!!
     
  12. scaredpoet, Dec 23, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012

    macrumors 603

    scaredpoet

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    Apr 6, 2007
    #12
    The information you have isn't quite right.

    The official documentation on this is at: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4515

    What does that documentation mean? Well...

    On AT&T 2G AND 3G (or "4G" as they insist on calling it), you can conference in up to 5 people. Technically, any GSM carrier can do this, even on 2G. This is because GSM was designed to mimic the functions of ISDN lines, back when they were supposed to be THE thing that replaced regular POTS and dialup.

    With GSM, you can also use features like call Add, Swap, and Merge. You can also take individual people (or two or three people) into a separate, private "sidebar" to discuss things separately, in the middle of a conference call, and you can even drop specific people off the call while keeping the conference going.

    On Verizon, Sprint, and most other CDMA carriers, you can conference in only yourself and 2 other people. Doesn't matter if it's 2G or 3G. None of the other features (add, swap, merge, private, drop) are available, either. This is a throwback from a decision made by CDMA carriers to be as backward-compatible to analog cell networks and phone lines as possible. It's a decision that made sense at the time, but the only way to revisit that now is to push forward with voice over LTE.

    But right now, no North American carrier does voice over LTE... YET. The iPhone 5 technically supports it, but the networks (at this time) do not.

    It's unknown what the capabilities of VoLTE will be in terms of conference calling. Verizon/Sprint might choose to enhance conference calling. Or, AT&T might decide that 5-way calling isn't a needed feature. No one really knows yet. It's really up to the carriers, what features they offer and when.
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    #13
    It's not just people in the US that assume this. Most people in Australia don't realise that Telstra can do LTE calls. I'm surprised that carriers in the US don't support LTE calls.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    SnowLeopard OSX

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    #14
    So what are the advantages of VoLTE/LTE talk time?
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    MattMJB0188

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    #15
    Having blazing speeds during calls, UNLESS AT&T CHOOSES TO THROTTLE LTE SPEEDS AS WELL DURING CALLS.
     
  16. macrumors member

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    Apr 9, 2011
    #16
    What if you have Skype on your iPhone?
     
  17. macrumors 68000

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    Aug 25, 2011
    #17
    Verizon still uses 1x for voice. 3G and LTE for data only with iPhone 5. Other LTE android phones, 1x voice and able to use 3G or LTE for data while on talking on phone.
     
  18. macrumors Nehalem

    Applejuiced

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    #18
    That's different.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 16, 2012
    #19
    I'm on telus, and according to this: https://www.telusmobility.com/en/AB/Conference-Calling/index.shtml

    "During a conference call, you can add additional callers based on your network.

    On the 3G network, you can have three people on a call
    On the 4G network, you can have up to six people on a call
    "

    So I turned on LTE (aka what telus considers "the 4G network" amirite?) and as soon as I call someone, I see my bars switch to the bars I have on the 3G network. I try to add a call, and I can merge it successfully. But I try to add a 4th person and when I click "merge" it doesn't work.

    Why is Telus' information contradictory to yours (they say you can only have 3 people on 3G, while ATT says you can have 5), and if telus supports calling on the 4G network, why does the iphone revert to the 3G network as soon as a call is made?

    Thanks.
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #20
    current implementation of LTE only allows for data.

    all voice calls are made on 3G. At least thats how it works in Canada...and I'm pretty sure for most carriers in the US
     
  21. scaredpoet, Dec 24, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012

    macrumors 603

    scaredpoet

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    #21
    Believe it or not, Telus' information isn't contradictory, it's just poorly worded because they assume users won't understand the technicalities.

    Telus is a rather rare breed of network, because they have both CDMA and HSPA+ networks, in addition to LTE. Most carriers only have one or the other (CDMA or GSM/HSPA+), but in Canada for some reason, both Telus and Bell Mobility decided to jump onto HSPA+ before LTE came out.

    So, like AT&T, Telus markets HSPA+ as 4G, while its legacy CDMA coverage remains as their "3G" network. Further confusing things: LTE is also marketed as "4G" now, so it's possible to be in an area that has one flavor of "4G" but not the other.

    When you put that in context, it makes perfect sense: HSPA+ is perfectly capable of 6-way conferencing as a descendant of GSM. CDMA, being what it is, remains capable of only 3-way calling.

    Hence, "3G" only handles 3 people on a call, "4G" - if it's HSPA+ - handles 6.

    And like most other carriers, Telus lacks Voice over LTE. For now.

    Further complicating things: Telus' "3G" and "4G" coverage footprint isn't exactly the same. Some areas have both, while others have only CDMA or HSPA+. It looks like you're unlucky enough to be in a "3G" only area, that happens to also have an LTE overlay. So, technically you have "4G," just not the type that handles voice calls as of yet, let alone advanced GSM-type calling features.

    Now that I think about it more: There could also be provisioning issues at play here. I haven't used Telus personally, so I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt and ASSUMING that they can provision devices to seamlessly use both the CDMA and HSPA+ networks. But they could've gotten lazy and kept the two networks separate. The two network types really aren't compatible, and making both networks talk to each other consistently takes a lot of work... something they might not have bothered with. In which case: your account can only work with CDMA and LTE, and can never connect to HSPA+ without having your account reworked by Telus (and possibly having to get a different model iPhone).
     
  22. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    #22
    Unless I'm mistaken, HD Voice as implemented by Telstra is actually just over the 3G network. Telstra, nor any other Australian carrier, has actually implemented VoLTE. HD Voice on Telstra's network requires that each device have support for the technology, it's not limited to having an LTE connection.
     
  23. macrumors 68000

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    Aug 25, 2011
    #23
  24. macrumors 6502a

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    #24
  25. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    #25
    Wait so my iP5 is actually CDMA? And when it says "3G" that means its on the CDMA network?
     

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