Vodafone Group Plc plans to launch a 4G voice service known as Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in Zambia within a 3-month period, following the acquisition of a Voice over IP license from Zambia Information & Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) – the nation’s communications regulator.
In a statement on Reuters, Vodafone Zambia chief executive officer Lars Stork on Tuesday said ZICTA had given the telecoms operator the go-ahead to launch a voice-over-data service, asides its current data-only service.
“We have consciously built in support for VoLTE in our 4G network and the tests we have conducted have shown tremendous results,” Stork said. “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,” he added.
With the success of this new service, Vodafone would join the league of mobile phone operators (South Africa’s MTN, India’s Bharti Airtel, and state-owned Zamtel) currently offering voice services in Zambia.
The telecommunications service provider has been developing services and applications in a bid to become the leading digital service provider in the Southern African country.
VoLTE enables a High Definition (HD) voice and data experience simultaneously for users. The technology is also more cost efficient giving users more value and also prolong the battery life of smartphones. The service has a much faster call setup time.
Global VoLTE users are expected to grow to 2.3 billion by 2020, according to London-based market research and consulting firm, Hot Telecom.