In the global race to introduce Voice over LTE, South Korea has taken first prize. August 8th saw the successful launch of commercial VoLTE services by SKT and LGU+, with KT expected to follow suit in October. The launch of VoLTE by Korea’s top three operators is further proof that the country is the most advanced LTE market in the world.
Korea is also an ideal market for VoLTE. According to an OECD report published in July 2012, the country is on top of the league in wireless broadband and was first to surpass a high-speed Internet penetration rate of 100%. Korea has nationwide LTE coverage, the adoption of LTE smartphones is taking off, and operators have already introduced tariff bundles that combine voice and data. All the conditions are right for VoLTE.
VoLTE does more with less
For Korean subscribers, VoLTE will enable better call quality and faster call set-up times for rich high-definition (HD) voice and browser-based apps for video conferencing and other voice services.
For Korean operators and other LTE forerunners throughout the world, VoLTE will make it possible to expand their offerings from voice to Rich Communication. The higher spectral efficiency of LTE, in fact twice the spectral efficiency of 3G/HSPA, will free up more capacity for data. As both data volumes and LTE device penetration grow, this will confer a key advantage, the ability to carry more voice with less bandwidth.
By enabling network simplification, VoLTE will also help reduce OPEX. By providing data and voice services on the same LTE network, operators will be able to integrate network resources, optimize network and service management, and simplify service delivery. Other OPEX benefits include re-farming to enable smart allocation and reuse of spectrum, and the evolution to fully all-IP technology to significantly reduce transmission costs.
Congratulations to South Korea’s VoLTE forerunners
As LTE continues its record uptake, the fastest ever of any mobile technology, VoLTE will gain further momentum. Nokia Siemens Networks is proud to be working with all of Korea’s top operators as they continue their industry-leading deployment of LTE. The country already boasts 99% LTE coverage, and the early adoption of LTE in the country has been nothing short of phenomenal.
More gold medals are sure to follow as Korea continues to set the pace for both LTE and VoLTE. Please join the discussion on Twitter using hash tags #MBBFuture, #LTE, #VoLTE.
This post is by Ismo Matilainen from the Nokia Siemens Networks Voice over LTE team.
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