Vodafone has announced this morning that its 4G customers have been entirely migrated across onto its new core network, which it has been developing in partnership with Ericsson. By itself, this might not be particularly thrilling news; I mean, a new core network? Woo… hoo? However, there’s more to this story.
This new network will facilitate the next wave of improvements for Vodafone’s 4G customers; increased data speeds, increased coverage, and last (but not least) will be the advent of VoLTE (Voice over LTE) later this year. Anyone who has used 4G will know that making a phone call can take a little bit longer on a 4G handset than it has done in the past on 3G handsets. This is because Australian telcos do not (as yet) support VoLTE, meaning that voice calls have to be made on the legacy 3G networks. The flipside of this is that your phone loses access to the fast data network while on a call, which can be mighty frustrating if you’re using data at the same time.
Vodafone Australia’s Chief Technology Officer, Benoit Hanssen, said:
We’re seeing customer demand for fast 4G data continuing to grow. VoLTE will allow customers to stay on the 4G network when taking or receiving voice calls, instead of switching to 3G. VoLTE will deliver a superior call experience with reduced connection times, while customers continue to enjoy Vodafone’s high definition audio quality.
One of the exciting benefits of VoLTE is that customers will be able to multi-task on 4G on their smartphone. For example, if a customer wants to browse the net while having a conversation on the same device, they’ll still have access to fast 4G data speeds.
We’ve been anticipating VoLTE in Australia for some time now, and though it’s almost here, it’s not almost here enough. We’d kind of like it now.
Are you waiting for VoLTE? Does dropping back to 3G to make or take calls irritate you as much as it does us?