iphone 6Voice calls over 3G from the latest iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Apple smartphones have dropped sharply across U.S. mobile networks, according to according to Newfield Wireless, a Tektronix Communications company, a provider of mobile geoanalytics. With U.S. iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users making use of 4G Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE), iPhone 6 and 6 Plus voice calls over 3G cellular networks in the U.S. are one-fifth of what they were on earlier iPhone models, according to data gathered from Newfield Wireless’s TrueCall platform.

“Overall call volumes have remained consistent, but 3G voice minutes have fallen considerably as a result of the uptake of 4G voice services, known as Voice-over LTE (VoLTE),” Newfield Wireless CEO Marc Bensadoun was quoted in a news release.

VoLTE Growth
In contrast to iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, most voice calls made using other 4G smartphones are being routed across 2G and 3G wireless networks “as not all networks and devices are optimized to deliver next-generation voice services,” Newfield explains in a press release. “iPhone 6 devices are VoLTE-compatible and as a result, U.S. networks have experienced a surge in VoLTE calls since the September launch.”

AT&T and T-Mobile have launched 4G VoLTE services in the U.S., as has Verizon.

Growing iPhone 6 VoLTE voice calls should spur network operators’ VoLTE commercial deployments. “The uptake of VoLTE calls has been triggered by the launch of the iPhone 6, and it demonstrates people like to try new services and have a desire for better quality calls,” Newfield points out.

“In fact, our data shows that many customers in the U.S. are now taking advantage of LTE, using their new iPhones to simultaneously enjoy LTE data and voice services on 4G networks.”

Data culled from Newfield Wireless’s TrueCall also revealed that:

  • On average, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users are already consuming more 4G data than users on all iPhone 5 devices;
  • The number of iPhone 6 handsets active on mobile networks is 5x the number of iPhone 6 Plus devices;
  • The majority of iPhone 6 handsets that have appeared on mobile networks have been direct replacements of iPhone 5 devices.

“VoLTE has quickly had a network impact, and this trend is set to continue as more operators improve their LTE networks and add new features, such as video calling,” Bensadoun continued. “This is just the beginning as we anticipate VoLTE will become a standard feature on all 4G-enabled devices, eventually eliminating the need for operators to maintain multiple networks,” he added.