There are probably only a few things in life more annoying than your internet stalling when you’re just about to take or make an important call.
It’s probably got you exasperated and wondering at the most inopportune times:
“Why is it that my internet stops working when I get a phone call?
And perhaps even more important than why it happens is the question of whether it’s something you can resolve!
Well, for starters, the issue is explainable.
An internet connection that stops functioning during an incoming call most likely has causes connected to your network provider, phone model, or the settings on your device.
As such, getting your internet to work again while on a phone call isn’t impossible!
Before we get to that point, however, let’s first dive into exactly what happens to your device during an incoming call while using mobile data.
First off, let’s get into a little history of the mechanism behind phone calls and internet connectivity.
When the first generation mobile device was created in the 1980s, there was no provision whatsoever for mobile data.
Fast forward to the late 90s and 2000s, and along came the 2G, GPRS, and EDGE networks. These networks were the first to utilize and provide data services.
As you may know, the data capacity was however very limited in these earlier devices. Even so, the GSM devices were the first to offer data and voice calls on a single device with limited data capacity.
After the 2G and 3G era came the 4G era in the 2010s.
LTE widely deploys 4G technology, with a prominent characteristic of LTE technology being its zero reliance on circuit switching. Instead, this technology utilizes packet switching, allowing for super-efficient data connectivity.
However, 3G and 4G technologies are mostly data carriers and not voice-focused technologies. As such, 2G technology (or GSM) remains the most basic and efficient means of carrying voice traffic.
This is the reason why your phone immediately falls back to the 2G or GSM network to carry your voice when you receive a call while a 3G data connection is active on your phone.
In the same vein, if you have a 4G connection active, your phone will switch to either a 3G or 2G network to transmit your voice.
Depending on your carrier, the 3G may not transmit data and voice simultaneously. This is why your internet connection becomes disabled temporarily when you make or receive a phone call!
So, what can one do to bypass this problem? The simple answer: VoLTE.
Most smartphones and other mobile devices are now 4G-enabled.
4G (also called 4G LTE or LTE) “falls back” to lower network bands to carry voice calls more efficiently in most instances.
However, the 4G network has also introduced a few technologies to transmit voice over the LTE network, with the most prominent being VoLTE (Voice Over LTE).
VoLTE is a voice calling service that utilizes the LTE network to transmit voice over 4G. In addition to transmitting voice over 4G networks, VoLTE is also able to provide crisper and clearer voice calls than legacy networks.
However, the availability of this service depends on your device and network provider. On compatible handsets, you can activate the VoLTE service with something as simple as a toggle switch.
Depending on your phone model, these steps may differ. However, the method will most likely be very similar whether you use an Android or iOS device.
To activate VoLTE service on your device, follow these steps:
- Drag the drop-down menu and click on Settings.
- In your Settings menu, click on Connection, then Mobile Network.
- Then, click on Mobile networks.
- Select “Only LTE” (or a similarly-phrased option). And enable “VoLTE calls” toggle switch.
For certain dual SIM Android devices, you will need to enter the “Sim Cards & Mobile Network” option in your phone settings.
Then, click on the SIM card option to enable VoLTE and toggle on the “Use VoLTE” switch.
- Enter the Settings app.
- Click on Cellular. Check that your cellular data is turned on, then click on Cellular Data Options.
- Enter Voice and Data.
- Toggle VoLTE on. Make sure the LTE network is selected first.
Depending on your device, you might need to restart your phone before the new settings take effect.
Also, ensure that your preferred network type is “Only LTE/4G” or a similar option for Android devices.
Choosing an option such as “4G/3G” will cause the network to fall back to the lower band when on a phone call.
If you cannot find these options in your settings, there might be a few reasons why- which we’re going to explore right now!
All 4G-enabled devices and upward have the ability to access the VoLTE function.
As such, the unavailability of the service is most likely not due to your phone model per se.
The availability of VoLTE on your device largely depends on your network provider. That is to say- not all carriers support or provide VoLTE services for their users!
The first thing to do would be to contact your carrier if you’re not certain whether VoLTE is available for your SIM.
There are also a few other ways to determine if your carrier supports voLTE on your device or not.
If you use an Android device and your “Preferred Network Type” option does not include a standalone LTE or 4G option, your carrier most likely does not support VoLTE.
That is, if the available options only include “4G/3G/2G” or similar, then your network will fall back to the 2G or 3G network when you receive a call.
Another way to find out if your carrier supports VoLTE is by dialing *#*#4663#*#* on your Android device.
Select “Phone information” from the menu and check if you can toggle the “VoLTE provisioned” option on. If you cannot, then your carrier most likely does not support the service on your device.
If receiving calls while remaining connected to the internet is a priority for you, you might thus need to change to a provider that supports VoLTE!
Yes. The function is similar to VoLTE and is called VoWIFI (Voice Over WiFi).
Contact your network provider to find out if this service is available for your device and SIM card.
No. Carriers do not charge extra for using VoLTE, as VoLTE calls do not use data.
Similarly, carriers will only charge you for calls from your regular calling units. Carriers in some countries have thus made VoLTE calls free of charge.
Not only did we find out throughout this article why the internet may keep stopping when a call comes in, but also figured out a way to stop it from happening again!
With the introduction of the VoLTE function, we can all now make even clearer calls without any disruptions to our internet connection.
Thanks to VoLTE and other similar services, smartphone users are able to enjoy a stable internet while receiving calls at the same time!