On Tuesday, China Mobile and KPN declared the first successful trial of international, IMS-based voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) roaming between mobile operators, using technology developed by the KPN unit, iBasis. The Dutch incumbent indicated the desire for VoLTE in a statement, saying: ‘Globalisation and increasing demand for the high-quality of service of LTE are driving mobile operators to implement VoLTE and VoLTE roaming as the next logical step after deploying LTE in their national networks and LTE data roaming internationally … VoLTE represents a significant gain in network efficiency and end-user convenience. For example, customers will be able to make voice calls over the LTE network while downloads continue in the background.’
The operators are now aiming to roll out the VoLTE roaming service to subscribers in China and the Netherlands, with China Mobile claiming its commercial launch will be at the end of 2014 but the Dutch provider yet to give a date. China Mobile International and iBasis will supply the IPX interconnectivity between the two operators, while Huawei is to issue the main network components.