Vodafone customers rocking the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge + and Note 5 will receive an early Christmas present this year, with Vodafone today announcing they will be starting to offer Voice over LTE functionality to post paid customers beginning in December.
The technology, which will allow customers to take voice and video calls while remaining on 4G connections is a big step for customers, meaning they can multi-task while taking calls, says Vodafone Australia Chief Technology Officer Benoit Hanssen. Mr Hanssen also says that the VoLTE technology will allow customers with compatible handsets ‘an enhanced call experience including shorter call set up times as well as longer battery life on some smartphones’.
The ability to use VoLTE on the Vodafone network on the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge + and Note 5 will be enabled by an Over The Air (OTA) update, which will be pushed out for the launch. Once customers receive the update on their compatible handset, they’ll be ready to start using VoLTE.
The trial is starting with selected Samsung devices, but Vodafone does expect to grow the pool of compatible manufacturers rapidly over the next few years.
Mr Hanssen said the launch of 4G voice and video calling represented a generational change for the Vodafone network.
It’s a really exciting change for the network, as this is the first step to moving all voice traffic over to 4G. In terms of the network, VoLTE means enhanced spectral efficiency with 2.3 times more users per MHz. It will also support the re-farming of our spectrum from 3G to 4G so that we can continue to provide great data speeds as traffic grows. We’re continuing to invest heavily in our network to bring further enhancements, with seamless Voice over Wi-Fi one of the next features our customers can look forward to in the near future.
Vodafone is still faces a public perception issue from years ago when they failed to invest in their infrastructure, a lesson they have learned well and have demonstrated, spending over a billion dollars on the infrastructure in their 4G network, achieving one of the fastest 4G networks in the world. A mix of generous data caps on well priced plans, as well as what I think is one of the best overseas roaming plans available, makes the Vodafone network one of the best options available in Australia.
There’s still some hesitance from customers though, but Vodafone has a plan for that, offering a 30-day ‘Happiness Guarantee’ that lets you trial the network and if you don’t find it to your liking, you can leave it.
The implementation of VoLTE is another bonus for Vodafone customers and we look forward to trialling it when the update goes live later this year.