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Vodafone UK Tests 4G Voice over LTE Call at a Lab in Newbury

Wednesday, Aug 6th, 2014 (11:01 am) - Score 1,002

Mobile network operator Vodafone looks set to take on EE after they successfully tested Voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology at a laboratory in Newbury (Berkshire, England), which aims to make “crystal clear [voice] calls” possible over their new “ultrafast” 4G network.

At present most mobile networks still use the existing 2G and 3G platforms to carry voice calls, but VoLTE would extend this facility to 4G, which has so far been primarily used for data / mobile broadband based services.

Aside from the improved audio quality, Vodafone claims the service could also help to deliver “high quality video calling, without buffering or pixelating” and “faster call set-up times“. The service, once perfected, would be designed to “use data seamlessly and simultaneously” and without hurting 4G download speeds or sucking excessive battery life like 3G often does.

Fergal Kelly, CTO of Vodafone UK, 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.”

The news comes shortly after EE announced plans to conduct one of the United Kingdom’s first trials of Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) tech using the 800MHz band (here), although we’ve yet to read an update on the progress of that. In any case EE expects the service to go commercial sometime in 2015, while Vodafone has merely said that they’re working towards a “commercial launch in the future“.

In the last few months, Vodafone has expanded their ultrafast 4G coverage to reach 263 larger UK cities, towns and districts, as well as thousands of smaller communities. The on-going expansion and development is part of a £1 billion investment into their UK network and services this year.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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