4G is great for superfast data speeds on your smartphone, but it's rubbish when it comes to phone calls - although that's about to change as networks, including Vodafone, look to bridge the gap.

In fact the Big Red has announced that it's just completed its first successful Voice over LTE call at its UK lab in Newbury, Berkshire - following in the footsteps of rival network EE.

Make a call on your 4G smartphone today and it will switch to an available 3G, or even 2G, network as the LTE service can only handle data. That means if you've got something downloading in the background and then make a call it will either slow right down, or stop altogether while you're on the blower.

The difference

With the ability to make Voice over LTE calls any downloads or other data activity won't be affected if you fancy a chat, but that's not the only benefit to the service.

Customers should benefit from increased call quality, connection speed and performance, while anyone who's partial to some video calling action will be able to enjoy high definition calls without any buffering or pixelating.

Voice over LTE is also more power efficient, so you may see an improvement in battery life on your smartphone too when the technology launches.

Vodafone hasn't given any idea of when its Voice over LTE service may roll out to customers, but with the first tests in the bag we're hoping we won't be left waiting too long.

A Vodaphone spokesperson told TechRadar: "We'll be happy to communicate our commercial plans once we've completed full testing of this new technology. We don't have a specific date to share with you at the moment. "