Three South Korean telecom operators such as SK Telecom, KT Corp and LG Uplus will launch the world’s first commercial interconnected VoLTE service this month.
Telecom industry association GSMA’s Director General Anne Bouverot welcomed the development. She in a statement said that interconnected VoLTE service will deliver higher quality calls and seamless switching between voice and video, as well as faster connection speeds to subscribers of all three networks.
Currently, VoLTE services are only available to subscribers of the same network.
“We work with mobile operators from around the world to accelerate the adoption of all-IP communications and we hope that South Korea’s example will pave the way for many more interconnected VoLTE services in other markets,” Anne Bouverot said.
After the formation of a dedicated working group, the VoLTE Inter-working Technology Consultation Group in 2012, SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus completed network inter-working communications tests as well as handset quality tests this month and will fully commercialize the VoLTE service on a stage-by-stage basis.
Initially, SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus will launch VoLTE services to a limited number of subscribers on five types of compatible handset before incorporating all VoLTE handsets. All subscribers will be migrated to the service by November 2015 and have access to VoLTE services across networks.
GSMA Intelligence says 40 percent of the world’s mobile network operators have launched an LTE network. There will be 450 standalone VoLTE networks and 300 RCS networks by 2020. There are nearly 80 mobile operators from 42 countries planning to launch VoLTE services with 17 mobile operators from 10 markets already providing them, including Korea.