GSMA gives thumbs up to world’s first interconnected VoLTE service in South Korea

NEW DELHI: The GSMA (Groupe Speciale Mobile Association) has welcomed the announcement by South Korea’s mobile network operators to launch the world’s first commercial interconnected VoLTE service.

The service, which is supported by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, South Korea, as well as the GSMA, was officially unveiled by South Korea’s Science and ICT Minister Yang Hee Choi this week and will be launched next month.

It 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.

“Interconnected VoLTE delivers a real step change in call quality to consumers with a seamless switch between voice and video as well as faster connection speeds. At the GSMA we work closely 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,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA.

“The world’s first commercialisation of VoLTE between operators will enable the fast and instantaneous delivery of voice, video and multimedia services to citizens. This is a significant achievement that will enable Korea to lead in global technical standards,” said Choi.

Initially, the three leading operators will make VoLTE services available to a limited number of subscribers on five types of compatible handset before eventually incorporating all VoLTE handsets. All subscribers will be migrated to the service by November 2015 and have access to VoLTE services across networks.

According to GSMA Intelligence data, over 40 per cent of the world’s mobile network operators have launched an LTE network with global LTE coverage exceeding a quarter of the population. GSMA Intelligence also predicts that there will also be 450 standalone VoLTE networks and 300 RCS networks by 2020.

There are about 80 mobile operators from 42 countries planning to launch VoLTE services with 17 mobile operators from 10 markets already providing them, including Korea.

The GSMA’s Network 2020 programme works closely with operators around the world to reduce complexity and fragmentation and promote scale and interoperability of services to deliver better consumer experiences.

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