Etisalat has the launched the UAE’s first Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service, offering better quality of calls through improved network performance.
At the time of the launch, the VoLTE service will be enabled on Samsung devices.
Saleh Al Abdooli, group chief executive officer at Etisalat, said:
“In today’s highly- connected world, customers increasingly want faster, more reliable and richer experience.We are constantly working to deliver the most innovative services to its customers and are excited to be the first in the UAE to launch VoLTE services that will offer our customers better quality of calls through improved network performance.”
The rise in popularity of HD voice has accelerated the adoption of VoLTE globally, Al Abdooli said.
So, does it mean people will opt for VoLTE over the popular OTT apps? Al Abdooli said:
“Although Internet-based chat apps and messengers have gained popularity in recent years, voice calls continue to matter most when people want real-time, interactive and instantly gratifying connection with their families, friends or colleagues.”
Etisalat’s VoLTE service will bring about major improvements in the quality of voice and video calls, allowing customers to enjoy seamlessly-maintained voice calls, as well as providing customers a range of advantages including high-definition voice calls and many rich-media services.
Most of the operators have been working towards VoLTE of late. In late 2014, the other UAE telco, du also achieved VoLTE functionality in its live network. Other Middle East operators on the VoLTE bandwagon include Viva Kuwait, Batelco, Ooredoo,Zain and STC.
According to Ericsson’s latest mobility report, the uptake of VoLTE subscriptions is expected to accelerate in the coming years, with 2.3bn subscriptions projected by 2021 – equal to more than 50% of all LTE subscriptions globally.
However, the journey isn’t going to be that easy. According to Amdocs State of the RAN report, VoLTE call drops can be four to five times higher than calls on 2G or 3G networks. So, though the potential of the VoLTE technology is high, operators need to
consider all the obstacles and work on improving their networks to deliver a great experience to the end users.