Vodafone confirms rolling-out Voice over LTE and Wi-Fi Calling services in the UK this summertime.
We’ve recently heard about a lot of changes on the mobile market in the UK. EE is being sold to BT, Three is trying to acquire O2, Orange and T-Mobile have been phased out and we will not see any new SIM cards with their logos, but there hasn’t been much talk about Vodafone. But this British multinational telecommunications provider has not been sleeping and just recently has announced two big innovations that will be introduced this summer: Voice over LTE and Wi-Fi calling.
The first of the new services known as VoLTE (short for Voice over LTE) is simply saying using the 4G network to carry calls. What this means to a customer? Frankly, it won’t make such a big difference from day 1 and there seem to be more advantage for the operator than the customer. From the operator’s point of view, they may start phasing out 2G network and make their infrastructure simpler, which means lower costs. Customers will experience a better voice quality as the compression method used will be more advanced that will be reflected on clearer phone call than we are used to. Additionally, this technology also allows providers to setup the call faster than using 2G. The difference should be quite noticeable, so you might not have to wait so long before hearing the signal. The downside is that not every phone will support VoLTE. If you don’t have one of the latest smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S6, iPhone 6 or Lumia 640, the chances are Voice over LTE won’t work for you.
The second novelty at Vodafone is so called Wi-Fi Calling. This service will use available Wi-Fi connection to provide mobile coverage. Additionally, this will be done seamlessly without any need of additional apps. Customers who currently live in places with low mobile coverage or experience poor signal indoors will definitely welcome such an innovation. We don’t know yet whether this service will be provided for free and whether Wi-Fi calls will have sufficient quality to compete with standard signal. Nevertheless, Vodafone UK CEO, Jeroen Hoencamp, said: “It is another important step towards our commitment to build the UK’s strongest converged network.”
Both of the services have been tested in Vodafone’s labs and will be undergoing heavy trials, so that everything works as smoothly as possible during the launch this summer season.