Vodafone Zambia has announced plans to launch 4G voice services (Voice over LTE – VoLTE) commercially within the next three months under a newly acquired license from the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA).
Chief Executive Officer, Lars Stork said, “We have consciously built in support for VoLTE in our 4G network and the tests we have conducted have shown tremendous results.”
“VoLTE is the next generation technology for transporting voice traffic as an IP data stream in LTE. Today our LTE network is solely used for data traffic, however, our vision and strategy is to offer best in class data and now also voice over data on our 4G network,” Stork continued.
He went on to highlight how the opportunities for a superior and seamless user experience of voice integrated in 4G LTE are significant.
“Services and applications have been developed and we will continue to innovate to be the leading digital service provider in the country. Not only does VoLTE enable a high definition (HD) voice and data experience simultaneously for our customers, but the technology is also more cost efficient giving them more value, prolongs the battery life of their smartphones, and has a much faster call setup time,” he said.
According to London-based market research and consulting firm, Hot Telecom, global VoLTE users are expected to grow to 2.3 billion by 2020.
“We are convinced that 4G data and 4G voice is the future of how we communicate. Vodafone is fully committed to transforming Zambia’s communication landscape with a clear vision of becoming the #1 digital service provider in the country. We will continue to invest in our network to allow for greater access to this revolutionary service, and in our people to ensure this vision becomes a reality,” added Stork.
Vodafone launched its operations in Zambia on June 9, 2016, initially with 4G TD-LTE high-speed data services. The recent acquisition of a Voice over IP license with an endorsement from the Zambia ICT Authority (ZICTA) allows the operator to provide a range of its world-class data services including voice, video, messaging, and fixed communications.
The rollout of the service also sets the stage for future enhancements through Rich Communications Services (RCS), which enable things including large file transfer, more robust group messaging, and more location sharing.