Vodafone to trial Voice over LTE for 2015 launch

4G... but for voice

If you thought all the different types of emerging 4G LTE technology were getting too confusing, Vodafone Australia is adding to the mix with plans to introduce Voice over LTE (VoLTE) next year.

In an announcement today, Vodafone said it will begin trialling voice services over its LTE network later this year for a broader roll out in 2015.

"Customers have rapidly adopted 4G smartphones, which offer very fast data speeds. But no Australian network is offering voice calls on its 4G network, and our new core network will enable us to do that," said Benoit Hanssen, Vodafone Australia CTO.

Reworking a network

The announcement for the introduction of VoLTE in Australia comes with Vodafone also saying that it is completely modernising and consolidating its core network, just as Telstra and Optus prepare to switch on the 700MHz spectrum band for their 4G networks next year.

Vodafone, which didn't buy any of the 700MHz spectrum during the Digital Dividend auction, said last month that its 4G network would reach 95% of Australia's metropolitan areas by the end of the year using its 850MHz spectrum holding.

The telco says that its new core network will offer better network agility and flexibility, along with new LTE services like VoLTE.

"With our enhanced indoor 4G coverage and voice calls on the same network, our customers will feel the difference. The call audio quality will be high definition, and call connection times will be significantly shorter," said Hanssen.

"In other words, there will be virtually no time lag between the customer pressing the call button and the call being connected when they are using 4G."