Voice calling through a data network was practically unheard of in the terrestrial wireless communications industry until very recently. It's a practice that still hasn't hit everywhere, but is expected to make some monumental changes in the way we execute voice calls through our carriers. A study conducted by Signals Research Group (SRG) has found that Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) goes above and beyond 3G circuit switched voice calls and Skype in terms of voice quality. The research was started by Alcatel Lucent (News - Alert) to determine whether this relatively new technology is really worth pursuing.
Michael Thelander, CEO of SRG, had this to say about the findings: “Based on our analysis of the data, VoLTE lived up to expectations. VoLTE delivered a consistently higher call quality than circuit switched voice and over-the-top (OTT) applications. While other network or background traffic downloading on a smartphone could bring Skype (News - Alert) voice to its knees, there was no indication that it impacted the VoLTE call. In addition, VoLTE really shined when it came to its network requirements, consuming far less than a Skype voice call which translates into a meaningfully longer smartphone battery life.”
It has not only found that you would get a boost in voice quality, but you would also end up connecting much faster to your call, eat up less bandwidth, and drain your battery less. The latter finding is surprising, especially considering the amount of power required to run a 4G antenna.
Ed Cowmeadow, head of core network for Vodafone (News - Alert), said that “4G today only supports data, so when you make a call your phone connects via 3G or 2G by default. So Voice over 4G is us being able to carry voice traffic over our data network, rather than the radio network that normally carries them.”
By using VoLTE, subscribers will benefit from the ability to use that same antenna to browse the web, play games, and stream a film all while having a voice conversation.
In other news, Vodafone is planning to up the ante on its subscription offers by prepping its launch of a VoLTE service in both the UK and New Zealand.
Edited by Alisen Downey