What is the difference between VoLTE and VoWiFi?

The difference between VoLTE and VoWiFi (Voice over WiFi) could fill an entire novel, but it’s helpful to understand the basic differences between these two types of mobile phone technologies. Today’s mobile carriers are currently updating or researching advancements in call technology in order to give customers the best calling experience possible. VoWiFi has emerged as an increasingly popular option.

LTE Mobile Networks and CSFB

LTE technology has gone through several phases from 2G through 4G, and mobile carriers are even trying to update their networks to accommodate 5G speeds. These data networks have allowed an increasingly large amount of data to pass through but have not provided options for voice calling.

Mobile carriers using LTE networks for mobile data have continued to rely on other options for voice calling, such as traditional “circuit switched” networks. Despite fast data speeds with 4G data technology, carriers have needed to utilize 2G and 3G speeds for voice communications.

The disadvantage with this requirement is that carriers have had to maintain their slower 2G and 3G networks to ensure voice calling viability. The introduction of VoLTE was the industry’s solution to this dependency and the need for circuit switched fallback networks (commonly abbreviated as CSFB).

To reduce the reliance on CSFB, carriers introduced VoLTE to the mix, which is similar in that it uses an additional network to provide voice calling called an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) network. Voice signals are given higher priority within this network arrangement.

Using VoWiFi (Voice over WiFi)

The introduction of VoWiFi support with Apple’s iOS 8 a few years ago led to increased interest from mobile carriers and end-users in the technology. Also referred to as “WiFi calling,” the technology requires an investment from mobile carriers, so its availability has been dependent on the updates made by the mobile industry.

Two schools of thought have emerged as VoWiFi has become more readily available. One idea has suggested the installation of VoWiFi availability would be the best way to increase the overall coverage offered by a mobile carrier. The other benefit was that the technology would offer a less expensive way to increase coverage, which would help carriers pass on savings to customers.

Some of the benefits seen with VoWiFi rollouts have included:

  • An Increase in Good Coverage – With the availability of WiFi indoors, carriers have been able to improve the likelihood of users getting a good signal indoors and outdoors.


  • Reduction of Service Interruptions – The deployment of VoWiFi has meant a reduction in dropped calls for consumers, which has improved carrier/customer relationships.


  • Lowering Overall Costs – Since VoWiFi enhances network availability rather than replaces it, the investment is more affordable because it doesn’t require a full network update.


  • Consumers Enjoy WiFi – Many smartphone users enjoy using WiFi technology, particularly when they are in the home or public areas where public WiFi is available.

Improve Mobile Coverage with VoWiFi

Do you want to know more about deploying VoWiFi service? Contact Wi-Fi Calling, sponsored by Taqua, for details on improving your mobile coverage using WiFi.

How does VoLTE work? What is the difference between VoLTE and VoWiFi?