Vodafone is adding Wi-Fi Calling and Voice over 4G (VoLTE) to its range of UK services this summer. Both require compatible handsets and will add a lot of flexibility to business users, especially those around Wi-Fi networks and not spots.
Wi-Fi Calling will not need an app like O2 and Three and will automatically gather a signal when available. It’s a UMA service that will likely initially only be available on flagship handsets but will trickle down the range as the technology matures. While having to use an app isn’t exactly a hardship, the ability to automatically connect to a Wi-Fi signal and use it for calls is too convenient to pass by.
The other initiative is VoLTE, or Voice over LTE/4G. This will use the fast 4G network to carry voice calls as well as data. This will allow for much higher call quality and improved stability of calls once available. The Vodafone 4G network is one of the most comprehensive in the country and the continued investment being made in infrastructure is paying dividends for customers.
As both of these services are IP-based, they will theoretically be able to hand off to each other seamlessly. So once the systems are up and running, you should be able to switch between Wi-Fi Calling and VoLTE without interruption. You will not however, be able to switch between these new services and 2G or 3G as they don’t use IP.
The other benefit of using 4G technology is that it can improve battery life. Both 2G and 3G can be battery intensive when calling whereas 4G is not. This will be especially good news for heavy users who travel as there will be less charging involved each day.
“3G can be pretty battery hungry when it comes to calls. Sure, phones do more these days but 3G does need more power than 2G and both things combined can increase battery drain,” Vodafone said. “By comparison Voice over 4G is a pretty efficient technology, and that means you may well see your battery life increase when it’s available.”
Both of these technologies will add real value to business customers whether in the city or the country. While networks of all flavours fight to reduce poor signal areas and not spots, the ability to use Wi-Fi networks will offset some of that. As long as you have a reliable network connection, you never need be out of touch.
Both services are being rolled out across the Vodafone network this summer.