Vodacom announced in a press release today, Friday, 26 September 2014, that it made the first ever Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) call in South Africa over its LTE network yesterday.
Currently, LTE networks in South Africa are only used to carry data, and devices typically fall back to a carrier’s HSPA or 2G network to make and receive calls.
“VoLTE is a win-win technology,” said Andries Delport, Vodacom’s chief technology officer. “It’s good for the consumer and for Vodacom.”
Delport said that the implementation of VoLTE is the first step towards commercial implementation that will ultimately result in faster call set up times, better voice quality, and an overall improved quality of service.
“The migration of voice traffic to the LTE network will also have the benefit of freeing up capacity currently used to carry voice services,” Delport said.
Vodacom has not set a date for the commercial launch of VoLTE yet, saying that it will depend on the availability of compatible devices.
“Vodacom is working with the handset manufacturers to ensure the technology is embedded in local handsets,” the operator said.