Vodafone makes its first VoLTE call one year after launching 4G network
Vodafone has successfully made its first call using Voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology, which uses a 4G connection rather than 2G or 3G, at its Newbury, Berkshire headquarters – the same location where it received the first ever mobile phone call in 1985.
The company says VoLTE can ensure better quality and more reliable voice and video calls while preventing 4G download speeds from dropping when users pick up the phone to speak to someone.
The technology also reduces the amount of time it takes to connect a call, with the promise of reaching other numbers instantly.
Vodafone VoLTE trial
Last year, the company said it had no plans to introduce VoLTE, which is currently being rolled out by a number of European operators, as 4G smartphone penetration had not reached the desired levels yet. However a year after Vodafone launched its 4G service, it appears as though it feels the UK might be ready soon.
“We’ve been continually developing and investing heavily in our UK network since it launched nearly 30 years ago,” says Fergal Kelly, Vodafone UK CTO. “Our trial of VoLTE, less than a year after the launch of our 4G network, is the next major innovation, and is hugely important as we continue our work to build the UK’s best network.”
EE is further ahead with its VoLTE rollout and plans to enable calls over 4G from early 2015, using its 800MHz spectrum, which offers good range but lower capacity. EE’s LTE network now covers more than 73 percent of the UK population, making the technology practical.
Vodafone currently has 900,000 4G customers in the UK and claims 40 percent coverage.