Vodacom has become the first mobile operator in South Africa to launch voice-over-LTE, or VoLTE, calling on its network.
In development for years, VoLTE allows voice calls to be placed over 4G/LTE networks, which are built first and foremost for data communication rather than voice dialling.
Vodacom is promising LTE users that the new technology will offer faster dialling, better call quality and new technical capabilities.
The VoLTE network will be switched on from tomorrow. Vodacom says users of Samsung’s new Galaxy S6 and S6 edge smartphones will be able to place calls using the technology.
Until now, 4G/LTE phones have switched to the 2G or 3G signal when a user places or receives a call.
VoLTE promises faster call set-up times, better voice quality and the ability to continue browsing the Web or using apps while simultaneously making a call.
Vodacom says it originally demonstrated VoLTE in action on its network in September 2014, but commercial launch has been delayed by a lack of compatible smartphones.
“Within the next month, VoLTE functionality will be added to additional devices, and we expect usage will grow rapidly as more and more handset manufacturers include the functionality,” says chief technology officer Andries Delport in a statement.
The VoLTE service is available only to contract customers who have compatible handsets. There is no additional charge to use this service.
Those with compatible handsets will need to run a software update to enable the service. The update will be available from Saturday, 11 April. — © 2015 NewsCentral Media