PCCW (HKT) and vendor partner Huawei have announced what they claimed to be Hong Kong’s first full commercial Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) service, which is initially available to owners of the Samsung Note 3 LTE smartphone. On the same day rival Hutchison (3 Hong Kong) announced the imminent availability of VoLTE services.
HKT’s press release reads: ‘The launch marks the world’s first commercial launch of the latest standard VoLTE technology (3GPP standard Release 10-based which enables a totally seamless handover of voice calls from 4G to 3G coverage), reflecting the growth and maturity of the VoLTE ecosystem in the marketplace… Highlights of the new VoLTE service are:
Enables higher quality video and clearer sound, with significantly reduced background noise
Enables faster voice call set-up (around one second for VoLTE calls to VoLTE calls)
Enhances video call quality to 640 pixel x 480 pixel or above
Enables instant switching between voice and video calls.’
In its own press release 3 Hong Kong announced ‘the activation of a high-definition (HD) voice facility, thanks to launch of its Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) network. This will enable customers to enjoy clear and smooth HD calling via 3 Hong Kong’s extensive 4G network, as soon as compatible mobile devices become available… This new VoLTE capability has passed stringent testing to ensure a superior HD voice experience anytime, anywhere… 3 Hong Kong’s VoLTE network supports VoLTE HD voice, which eliminates the need to switch calls from 4G to 3G networks. This facilitates a much smoother and more stable voice experience. Customers can access our 4G LTE network for data purposes and use it for making VoLTE calls at the same time with compatible devices… The end result is a high-quality and seamless data and voice communications experience.’
In December 2013 rival CSL announced a soft-launch of VoLTE and revealed that commercial VoLTE services would be introduced for all users ‘in H1 2014.’