UK MOBILE OPERATOR Vodafone has made its first successful voice call over LTE, less than a year after the arrival of its 4G network.
Vodafone announced on Wednesday that it made the successful voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) call in a specialist laboratory in Newbury, paving the way for a nationwide rollout. However, the network has yet to reveal when Vodafone customers will be able to take advantage of VoLTE, instead saying vaguely that it's working towards a commercial launch "in the future".
Once VoLTE is rolled out, however, Vodafone boasts that users will be able to make high-quality calls while using data simultaneously, adding that friends and family will be connected quicker than if they were making a traditional phone call.
VoLTE will also make way for high-quality video calling, Vodafone said, meaning "customers will experience their call as though face-to-face with each other".
Vodafone UK CTO Fergal Kelly said, "We've been continually developing and investing heavily in our UK network since it launched nearly 30 years ago.
"Our trial of VoLTE, less than a year after the launch of our 4G network, is the next major innovation, and is hugely important as we continue our work to build the UK’s best network."
In a blog post, Vodafone also boasted that VoLTE could improve its customers' phones' battery lives, with the technology proving less power-intensive than calls made over 2G or 3G.
It said, "3G can be pretty battery hungry when it comes to calls. Sure, phones do more these days but 3G does need more power than 2G and both things combined can increase battery drain.
"By comparison Voice over 4G is a pretty efficient technology, and that means you may well see your battery life increase when it's available." µ