South African operator Vodacom has revealed that, following a software update undertaken by partner Samsung, Vodacom’s subscribers using the Samsung S8 and Samsung S8+ handsets could now benefit from voice-over-LTE (VoLTE), voice-over-WiFi (VoWiFi), 4×4 multiple-input, multiple output (4×4 MIMO) and 256 QAM technologies. VoLTE technology allows for faster call setup times, better voice quality, an overall improved level of service and the ability to continue browsing the web or using apps while simultaneously making a call, while VoWiFi enables calls in areas with no mobile coverage. In addition, the 4×4 MIMO and 256 QAM markedly improve 4G speeds over the LTE network.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, last month Vodacom achieved download speeds of 549.99Mbps over a live LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network at a speed trial – held at Vodacom’s regional office in Nelspruit (Mpumalanga) – featuring carrier aggregation (CA) in three bands, coupled with 4×4 MIMO and 256 QAM. The company commercially launched VoLTE in April 2015 (for Samsung S6 and Samsung S6 Edge handsets), while VoWiFi was first enabled in August 2016.