Voice over 4G: Vodafone lands Australian first

Contracts Ericsson to completely replace and upgrade its core network over five years.

Vodafone will be the first carrier in Australia to enable voice calls over a 4G network, which will help eliminate call lag and enable phone calls in high definition.

“No Australian network is offering voice calls on its 4G network, and our new core network will enable us to do that,” said Benoit Hanssen, Chief Technology Officer at Vodafone.

“The call audio quality will be high definition, and call connection times will be significantly shorter. There will be virtually no time lag.”

Vodafone customers will be able to make voice calls over LTE (VoLTE) without compromising their data connectivity speeds. The technology will be made available in 2015 following trials later this year.

The feature has been brought about by Vodafone’s adoption of virtualised infrastructure. The telco has contracted communications company Ericsson to replace and upgrade the core of its network so that it is completely virtualised over 5 years.

“Vodafone is the first operator in Australia to commit to [Network Functions Virtualisation] technology in its core network, meaning we will have one of the most advanced networks in the world,” said Hanssen.

Rival Telstra already offers high-definition phone calls; however, the company enables the feature over its 3G network.

Vodafone announced last month its 850MHz network will be expanded to cover 95 per cent of the Australian population by the end of 2014.

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