A Korean telco has launched the world’s first mobile phone voice service delivered over a next-generation 4G mobile phone network.
While high-speed 4G LTE mobile networks have been rolled out in a number of countries, including by Optus and Telstra in Australia, they have until now been used solely for mobile data and wireless broadband, with voice calls still delivered over older 2G or 3G networks.
However, according to the Korea IT Times, Korean telco SK Telecom has begun delivering a VoLTE (Voice over LTE) service, dubbed “HD Voice”, using a modified 4G version of Samsung’s Galaxy S3 smartphone.
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SK Telecom claims that its HD Voice service delivers better call quality, while reducing call connect times from around five seconds to between 2.5 and 0.25 seconds.
Initially, the service will only work between customers on SK Telecom’s network, although the telco has signed an interconnect agreement with three other Korean telcos which will allow 4G calls across carriers in the future.