Three Wins Race to VoLTE!

Three is introducing a new technology, named 4G Super-Voice. Based on a roll-out of low frequency 800 MHz spectrum it allows a mobile signal to travel much further into buildings and extends its reach to more rural areas, removing many of the current coverage ‘blackspots’ across the country.

Customers will be able to make calls, send texts and get online in places that previously had poor or no signal.

4G Super-Voice is made possible by the addition of the low frequency spectrum to the Three network, that will enable its 4G network to carry voice calls using VoLTE technology as well as texts and data.

The combination of both lower and the higher frequency spectrum (1800MHz) which Three currently uses means customers will benefit from the advantages of each, meaning improved indoor coverage, less blackspots and better call connections.

The enhancement is the latest initiative in their drive to improve indoor coverage which includes adding new sites to the network and launching our WiFi calling application, Three InTouch, last year.

4G Super-Voice already covers 50% of the UK population for indoor coverage and more than three quarters of London, Edinburgh, Exeter and Birmingham. This is combined with our 3G network which already offers 98% outdoor UK population coverage.

Three has also begun rolling out the technology in many other towns and cities across the country including Cardiff, Manchester, Liverpool and Bristol.

By the end of the year it will extend to 65% nationwide, meaning millions of our customers will soon benefit from improved coverage indoors, in rural areas, and on public transport.

Director of customer strategy, Danny Dixon, said: “Not being able to use your phone as and when you want, no matter where you are, is one of the biggest pain points for customers. Today’s announcement is the latest step in our efforts to offer customers a quality experience on what is already the UK’s most reliable network.”

Bryn Jones, chief technology officer at Three, added: “By the end of the year, one million of our customers will have access to better indoor coverage and be able to use their phones in more places than ever before. We are proud to be the first network to roll this out across the country.”

Customers require a compatible handset to access the new technology which will be available on the Samsung Galaxy S5 at launch. New devices will be added regularly including recent iPhone models later this year.

Mark Windle, Head of Marketing, OpenCloud commented “Three has launched VoLTE this week beating the other UK operators to the finish line and it will only be a matter of time before the other operators follow suit. However, it is likely that the services will simply recreate today’s voice-calling experience over a 4G connection rather than add anything exciting for subscribers.

“Real innovation will only come if VoLTE can be developed beyond the standard that all operators are set to follow. Service-layers that can be openly developed by operators’ in-house teams, systems integrators and independent third party developers, enable operators to add innovation and differentiation to their VoLTE services. It will be interesting to see which operators take the initiative to go beyond common standards.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine