Armenian telecom operator Ucom, which offers mobile services via its mobile arm U!com (formerly Orange Armenia), has launched commercial voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) technology on its 4G network, promising end users a faster call connection time and HD voice call quality. ‘The signal is provided from [U!com’s] new base stations, which our company has been continuously installing since last year in more than 150 Armenian settlements,’ said Gevorg Gevorgyan, chief technical officer at Ucom.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in March 2016 U!com’s parent announced the signing of the 4G LTE supply contract with Ericsson, including plans to invest USD20 million in 2016 alone. Ultimately, the altnet’s 4G network will cover more than 95% of the Armenian population, with initial base stations being deployed in Yerevan (from September 2016 onward) and the regions. Ucom is looking to spend around AMD131.7 billion (USD270 million) in the three-year period 2016-2018, of which AMD38.3 billion was allocated for 2016, AMD44.1 billion in the second year of the programme and AMD49.3 billion in the third.
Last month, meanwhile, U!com confirmed its intention to expand its LTE-A network coverage to 88% by 31 March 2018. Marketed as ‘4G+’ the cellco’s advanced services are currently within range to some 80% of the population, according to its CEO Hayk Yesayan, aiming to hit its new coverage target before 1 April next year. Yesayan added that its LTE-A infrastructure can support peak speeds of up to 250Mbps, with typical average mobile internet speeds currently ‘more than 60Mbps’.