South African mobile operator Vodacom claims to have placed ‘the first voice call over a 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) in the country’, TechCentral reports. Vodacom CEO Andries Delport disclosed that the trial is the first step towards implementation of voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) technology, which would allow for faster call setup times, better voice quality and an overall improved level of service. The executive added: ‘Typically reserved for data, the move to use 4G/LTE technology to carry voice traffic will in the future mean better call quality for consumers and a more efficient use of network resources … The migration of voice traffic to the 4G/LTE network will also have the benefit of freeing up capacity currently used to carry voice services.’ Further, Mr Delport said that the commercial launch date will depend on the availability of compatible devices, with the operator currently working with handset manufacturers to ensure the technology is embedded in local handsets; Apple’s flagship device, the iPhone 6, which was launched this month, supports VoLTE technology.
Meanwhile, Vodacom has also announced that it is currently deploying high definition (HD) voice technology across its 3G network, following the commercial launch of the service by rival MTN SA in August 2014. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, MTN launched the technology on its 3G network using the Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB) coding standard, enabling high-quality voice calls and an improved user experience.