After announcing plans last month to enter the video chat space - Verizon does so with high-definition face-to-face calling.
Advanced Calling 1.0 puts Verizon in the middle of the market that has needed someone to claim it since Apple created FaceTime, so long ago.
Skype, Facebook, ooVoo and even Google have tried jumping into the mobile space for video calling but haven’t been able to do so the way Apple did in capturing their audience with FaceTime.
Now though, Verizon is here, with blazing LTE connectivity – and a program that is hard to complain about.
The best part is, the program is free – and according to Verizon comes at no extra cost. All you will be charged as the user is the minutes that you spend talking. The utilization of voice minutes that might otherwise be used less frequently though could create some issues for those who do not have extensive call minutes on their plan.
However, rest assured that cases like this will be few and far between. Meaning, if you make a call to another Verizon Wireless customer – you are covered just as you are for a traditional phone call.
Even better though is that it’s a part of your device. You will no longer need to be in the middle of a call, and then switch to another app, and close out of one, end a call, and video call a person after the fact.
VoLTE simplifies the entire process. It will be integrated in the same way FaceTime is integrated so that you can simply choose to video call your select contact, or phone number without going through excessive steps.
And you won’t need to be connected to Wi-Fi to ensure positive connection. You’ll be connected to Verizon’s network and have the ability to make video calls anywhere you are.
However, as with any network issued program – there are limitations. While the quality and timing appear to be fantastic now – there are serious questions about the service at the same time.
For one, the fact that Verizon does note that in order for this service to work – both parties involved in the video call will need to be in the same LTE coverage area, and be in an LTE served area.
Additionally, this will drive serious data costs in addition to traditional voice costs. That could be an issue as data is a hotter commodity in the smartphone world, than actual voice minutes are.
Also, users will need to both be on Verizon devices that support video chat. Though most should have a good grasp on the idea that you can’t video chat if you don’t have a supported hardware, it goes without saying that these last few points definitely to limit the potential success that this could be if it were a little further reaching.
Either way, it will be interesting to see where Verizon goes from here with their VoLTE service that is now live.