How to enable video calls on Android smartphone ?

In pre Android times it was easy to make video call on a standard phone, featuring small screen.

Today video call functionality is not supported by most of makes, models of Android smartphones, for unknown reason.

Ok, you need to establish 3G/ LTE data conectivity for video streaming as extra add-on- communication channel.

Ok, I have 3G data transfer enabled and still no support for making video calls.

I am not interested in third party video calling apps.

I am aware, few smartphones by Samsung support video calling functionality.

Is it due to licencing or for another reason.

If video calling was supported by default 10 years ago and promoted at Barcelona Mobile Congress, so why today video calling in Android smartphones is not supported or disabled by 99% default.

I read a lot on this subject on the Internet but all I need is to have video calling enabled in my smartphones

and I can pay extra fee.

Let me know your opinion and solution ( not interested in third party apps supporting 3G video calling)

thank you


I was told (need to test it first) that Samsung 3G video calling enabled smartphone can video call my smartphone to enable 3G video calling on-the-fly, showing camera icon to click to pick up a call.

If this is the case, so in theory, any Android smartphone can support 3G video calling ( 3G connection established and paid by third party)


I read related questions and answers one asked 8 years ago Questions regarding receiving 3G calls on my IDEOS

another asked 3 years ago How to video call

and still clear why no 3G video calling support on newer Android smartphones, since what is claimed: \ " what you are looking for is the operator backed 3G-324M solution that is available on most 3G phones (not including iPhone or Android). "

  • thank you, great 3G video calling by [Tsahi Levent-Levi is Director of Technology and Solution at Radvision. No discussion "Be the first to comment. Ok, but I really need 3G video calls on my Android smartphone. Some models by Samsung still support 3G video calls and was told, can initiate video call to my Android smartphone, so all I need is to activate group 3G video call initiated by Samsung once in a time, to activate 3G video call in my phone. Let me know your opinion and thank you for the link provided by you Long Live 3G Video Calls ;)
    – a a
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 22:16
  • not sure why the comment providing this great link ____ slashdata.co/blog/… ___ has gone ??????
    – a a
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 22:18
  • "3G video calls was indeed included in the dumb phones dialler in the early days of 3G. That has changed with smartphones. " _____ from answers.microsoft.com/en-us/mobiledevices/forum/all/… _____ Ok, I need to go back to old dump phone to get 3G video calls supported
    – a a
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 22:27

1 Answer 1


This article on the history and future of mobile video telephony from 2010 covers the challenges of mobile video telephony at that time.

The author lists out the then existing landscape and practical issues regarding video call adoption. Perhaps more importantly is to what the author sees in the future:

What’s next?

We do have mobile video telephony, with all of its benefits and faults. But where are we going with it? The next step will be a migration of the service from circuit switching to packet switching – to become all-IP. This will require two major changes:

Migration from WCDMA/HSPA to LTE, where an all-IP network will be the norm and network capacities and bandwidths allocated for each phone will increase. Replacement of 3G-324M with a different standard that runs over an IP network. Probably as part of IMS (IP Muiltimedia Subsystem). While Apple just came out with their front facing camera and FaceTime service on the iPhone, it is still quite limited: it runs over WiFi, only between iPhone 4 devices and uses a protocol that Apple plans to open. For mobile video telephony to become a valid solution it needs to use an open standard, run everywhere and be interoperable across devices.

When will that happen? At the very least 8 years from now it will require the creation of the necessary ecosystem of companies who care. The problem is that these companies are currently focused on providing the basics of the LTE infrastructure. This requires them to rethink their voice and SMS technologies in initiatives such as VoLTE (Voice over LTE).


  1. To get mobile video calling operators/carriers were mandating handsets support 3G-324M (a 3GPP specification), at least until the iPhone arrived.
  2. Operators/carriers switched focus to providing the basics of LTE infrastructure.
  3. Apple hasn't opened up Facetime
  4. Android itself has no requirement to support the 3G-324M, and Android Compatibility Definition Document shows no support beyond standard audio and video codecs so any support would have to come from manufacturers or carriers building it in themselves.
  5. In the US, AT&T and Verizon have announced end of 3G support, In Europe Vodafone has announced that 3G will be turned off throughout Europe between 2020 and 2021, and Deutsche Telekom plans to do the same in 2020 while in other regions/carriers it is still TBD.

So while older devices, like the Samsung mentioned had some type of 3G video calling support, should the associated carrier end 3G, support for 3G video calling will probably end as well, as the future lies with VoLTE which removed the circuit switch requirements.

If you are looking for older devices which does support 3G-324M, from: https://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/android_video_calling

The only modern smartphones known to implement 3G-324M video calling are the Samsung Galaxy range:

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 +s5 +s6
  • Samsung Galaxy S3
  • Samsung Galaxy S2
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
  • Samsung Galaxy S I9000

Note that the most recent device that appears to have supported 3G calling on a carrier like Telstra AU is the Samsung Galaxy S5 whose last official update is Android 6.0.

  • " Android itself has no requirement to support the 3G-324M, and Android Compatibility Definition Document shows no support beyond standard audio and video codecs so any support would have to come from manufacturers or carriers building it in themselves. In the US, AT&T and Verizon have announced end of 3G support So while older devices, like the Samsung mentioned had some type of 3G video calling support. " Great, but all I need is to buy dump phone or model of Samsung still supporting 3G video calls for private use and tests to recall old good Barcelona Mobile Congress days
    – a a
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 23:07
  • @aa You don't mention what region you are in or what carrier you use. You also excluded 3rd party apps in your original question. So if it works for you great, but on Android it would be a carrier(or perhaps region) specific dialer or 3rd party app. Also if the answer is acceptable, please mark it so. Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 23:11
  • Your answer is great but not tackling my question fully, since I need to get 3G video calls enabled loco Europe for personal use. I can switch between carriers (Orange or one another). My friend sells used smartphones so we can perform tests to succeed. 3G video calling was great and discovered by me 10+ years ago, so it's part of my life and need it get back and enabled on Android or any dump phone I can get at pocket price. Since I get today unlimited phone calls, 3G data transfer for a pocket price, 3G video calling matters __ Let us wait for one more answer to come
    – a a
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 23:26
  • You should update your question to include your carriers and region where you want support. I would also check the Google Play store for region/carrier specific apps which would enable support for 3G video calls, but I fear that it is unlikely as this XDA post indicates it is a framework modification and carriers & manufacturers were focused on selling the new Android phone of the month, in addition to keeping up with Android releases over the past 10 years. Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 0:26
  • For the last months (since 01.01.2020) I worked with my friends from China on coronavirus epidemic. We have developed free predictive precognition test whicch can be run remotely. 3G video call can support transfer of test parameters to local contact point, so I am not restricted by carrier or region. As a back up I try to build ad-hoc mesh network made of 10-100 wifi smartphones, if local carrier fails. Test results should be delivered as images until image processing target app is readily developed. It's hard to deliver dump phones to patients at remote locations world-wide.
    – a a
    Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 1:05

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