In a bid to reduce call setup times and offer HD call quality, Telefonica (News - Alert) Germany has launched its new Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) service for 4G subscribers. The operator has rolled out the service through its O2 brand and it is now available throughout its entire O2 LTE (News - Alert) network.
Subscribers may initially access the service using the Samsung Galaxy S5, with additional devices slated for support. Telefonica Germany has been working to support the Nokia (News - Alert) Lumia 830 and 640 devices as well as the Sony Xperia Z3. The service provider is also working with additional phone manufacturers on firmware for smartphone models compatible with its VoLTE service.
VoLTE offers numerous benefits to subscribers, including reduced device battery consumption and less network searches. From a unified communications (UC) and collaboration perspective, VoLTE goes beyond voice and offers enhanced features like IM, chat, live video and file sharing across a wide variety of devices and networks. This also opens up opportunities for new revenue streams for operators and service providers looking to add new services and applications to their communications portfolios.
“For us as a leading digital telecommunication provider, the implementation of Voice over LTE establishes the next important step towards providing the best network experience for our customers,’ said Markus Haas, COO of Telefonica in Germany. “Making calls directly via the latest mobile communication standard completes customers’ LTE experience of the O2 (News - Alert) network.”
Recent research from Sonus Networks (News - Alert) shows that VoLTE is rapidly becoming the platform of choice for mobile operators looking for innovative ways to deliver voice calls and build out their broadband data networks. The company’s 2015 VoLTE State-of-the-Market Report reveals operators have been largely successful in building out their VoLTE deployments and that the service is providing a major stepping stone in letting operators retire their 3G networks and transition available spectrum to LTE.
Telefonica Germany customers whose phones are not yet VoLTE enabled will benefit from the operator’s circuit-switched fallback service, through which calls are automatically switched from the LTE network to GSM or UMTS networks. The company is also planning to increase its LTE network coverage from around 62 percent of the population currently to 90 percent by the end of 2016.