After the debacle that was their 3G network over the last few years, Vodafone are going all out in their quest to provide a top-class 4G network. The Vodafone 4G network is already ranked as one of the fastest in Australia, but the network is about to get a new trick with Vodafone announcing they will be updating their network using equipment from Ericsson that will allow them to offer Voice over LTE (VoLTE) as well as ‘greater network agility and flexibility’.
The network will launch trials of the VoLTE service later this year, with an intention to launch in 2015. Vodafone Chief Technology Officer Benoit Hanssen said
The current 4G networks primarily focus on providing faster data services. 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.
Part of the update will see Vodafone adopt Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV), which will allow them to provide the cost efficiencies as well as the network agility and flexibility they are aiming for.
With a fast network, more 4G bandwidth to play with and now VoLTE, Vodafone is shaping up to be a pretty powerful player in the Australian mobile telephony market. Not bad for a network that most people had written off only a year ago.