4G Super-Voice provides improved coverage and call quality to a large and ever-growing number of Three users.
It’s a big deal and we’ve got all of the details. So from what it is, to whether you have a compatible handset, whether it’s available where you are, how to get it and why you might want to, here’s everything you need to know about Three’s 4G voice service.
Three 4G Super-Voice is Three’s slightly catchier name for Voice over LTE (VoLTE), which simply means the ability to make voice calls over 4G.
It’s a technology which has been in the works for quite a while, and which Three was the first to offer in the UK. It’s no longer the only network with a VoLTE service, but as it’s had a head start it offers widespread coverage.
The main feature of 4G Super-Voice is that it provides increased indoor and rural coverage, with a number of blackspots being plugged.
That means you’ll have signal and be able to make and receive calls where you never could before. And signal will be stronger in many areas where it already existed, so there’s less chance of dropped calls.
You’ll also be able to send and receive texts in places where you couldn’t before, as that too used to rely purely on older 3G and 2G technologies.
And that’s not all. Just as 4G is better for mobile internet than 2G or 3G it’s also better for voice calls. They too require data and with 4G more data can be sent, and it can travel at higher speeds, which improves the quality of voice calls.
As such you should be able to hear the person on the other end of the line far more clearly, and more accurately make out their voice and tone.
The extra speed could also allow calls to connect more quickly than over 2G or 3G. Plus, it could help your phone’s battery, as previously if you were on 4G and made or received a call your phone would have to switch to 2G or 3G, before switching back again once the call was over. All that switching will use more juice than just staying on one signal as you’ll be able to now.
There’s no 4G Super Voice app, so rather than there being a Three Super Voice download you simply need a compatible phone running the latest software and to be in a 4G Super-Voice area. Then it should work automatically.
Read on below to find out which phones are compatible and where, but the short answer is that many handsets (especially high-end ones) are, and that coverage is now widespread across the UK, so there’s a good chance you can get it.
Note however that unless you’re using an iPhone you must have got your phone directly from Three for 4G Super-Voice to work with it.
If your phone isn’t compatible (or you’re not in a 4G Super-Voice area) don’t worry, as there’s an alternative, namely Wi-Fi Calling, a service which lets you call and text over Wi-Fi. Not quite the same then, but similarly useful for staying in touch when signal is bad.
As with 4G Super-Voice there’s no download for this, you simply need a compatible handset on Three and access to a Wi-Fi network.
The short answer is probably. Three hasn’t said what percentage of the UK has it in a long time, so any figures will be dated, but looking at Three’s coverage map it appears to be available in most of the places that standard 4G is (which amounts to 99.8% of the UK population outdoors).
Your best bet to find out for sure is to use Three’s coverage checker. For the most accurate picture of coverage make sure to enter your device as well as your location.
Cities and towns with 4G Super-Voice coverage include (but are not limited to):
Aberdeen, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Blackburn, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Burnley, Cambridge, Cardiff, Chatham, Cheltenham, Colchester, Coventry, Derby, Dewsbury, Dundee, Eastbourne, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hastings, Huddersfield, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northampton, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Preston, Reading, Sheffield, Slough, Southampton, Southend-on-Sea, Sunderland, Swindon, Telford, Torquay, Wigan and York.
But you might not even need to check your coverage, as if you’re an existing customer Three should have sent you a notification when 4G Super-Voice was made available in your area. And if you don't have 4G Super-Voice yet, don’t worry – coverage is improving all the time and you should get a notification once Super-Voice reaches you.
Wondering whether you’ve got a 4G Super Voice smartphone? Handily, 4G Super-Voice is available for a large number of phones. The selection will expand over time, but currently includes but isn’t limited to:
iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone SE, Samsung Galaxy S10, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S10e, Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy S5 Neo, Samsung Galaxy A8, Samsung Galaxy A6, Samsung Galaxy A3 2016, Samsung Galaxy A3 2017, Samsung Galaxy A5 2017, Samsung Galaxy J3 2017, Samsung Galaxy J3 2016, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Google Pixel 4, Google Pixel 4 XL, OnePlus 7T, LG G6, LG G5, LG G4, LG G4 Compact, LG Spirit 4G, LG K3, LG Stylus 3, HTC 10, Sony Xperia XZ2, Sony Xperia XA2, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, Sony Xperia Z5, Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, Sony Xperia X, Sony Xperia XA, Sony Xperia XZ, Huawei P30, Huawei P30 Pro, Huawei P20, Huawei P20 Pro, Huawei P20 Lite, Huawei P10, Huawei P10 Plus, Huawei P9, Huawei Mate 9, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, Honor 10, Honor 9, Honor 7S, Honor 6X, Moto G 4G 3rd Gen, Moto E4 Plus, Microsoft Lumia 550, Lenovo P2, ZTE Blade V8, ZTE Blade V7, and Razer Phone.
However, if you’re using an Android or Windows phone then currently 4G Super-Voice will only work if you bought it directly from Three, even if it’s supposed to work with VoLTE.
The network is working on changing this, and if you have an iPhone bought from elsewhere that should still work as a 4G Super Voice phone.
Assuming your phone is compatible you may also need to update the software to make it work as a 4G Super Voice handset. Not sure if you’re on the latest software?
At the time of writing Three doesn’t offer a 5G mobile service (though it does offer 5G home broadband). Even once it launches we wouldn’t expect 5G calls to be offered on day one, but these will probably be supported over time, just as 4G calls were. However, support for them will probably come under a new name. 5G Super-Voice, anyone?
The information contained on this website has been written to assist our readers. We do not represent Three or speak on its behalf and are entirely independent of Three.