For most of this year we have been undertaking one of the largest and most complex changes to voice calling in our network for more than 40 years…we hope you didn’t notice!
Starting today, we will be progressively enabling the new 4G Calling capability, Voice over LTE (VoLTE) for Telstra Mobile Post-Paid consumer customers with a compatible mobile handset to use 4G Calling..
VoLTE is the next generation of how voice calls are carried over our network. In those 4G areas where VoLTE has been enabled, when customers make a voice call on a VoLTE enabled handset, the call is integrated into the 4G LTE data stream rather than the previous arrangement of reverting back to 3G.
4G Calling allows customers to maintain a full 4G experience during a call. This means voice and data stay on the same part of the network, therefore delivering faster data access while using the internet as well as super-fast call set up times. So, if you love to walk and talk, or browse the internet and talk, or even email and talk then you’re in for a treat. We think it’s a multi-tasker’s dream! And there is more, we haven’t just enabled HD calling on the wireless network, if you make a call to a Telstra NBN service with a HD handset or to any of our business and enterprise services using HD IP Telephony handsets you will also be talking in full HD.
This is seriously exciting because it’s only the beginning. We can now link the future for voice to the world of multi-media which will enable new and interesting applications and call flexibility, including a path to native voice calling over WiFi (VoWiFi) allowing a seamless handset experience, video calling over LTE (ViLTE) and even higher definition audio.
On that note, we’ve been at the cutting edge of audio solutions for a few years now and have several mature technologies in the market. Telstra was the first carrier in Australia to offer HD Voice calling to our mobile customers back in June 2011 and we continue to have one of the largest mobile HD Voice footprints globally. In fact in Australia, 70 percent of mobile handsets support HD and over 30 percent of all mobile calls use HD Voice today.
The roll out of VoLTE will be staggered, gradually enabling the full HD capability for different types of calls (ie 4G to 4G, 4G to fixed,4G to 3G etc).Initially post-paid consumer customers will be gradually enabled, and we will later be extending the VoLTE capability to our Business and Enterprise customers, as well as our prepaid customers in the future.
Our main priority throughout the VoLTE rollout is to protect and preserve the superior network experience and world class voice quality that we currently offer to our customers while introducing the benefits of the new 4G Calling service. VoLTE will be available in most parts of our network from the start where there is 3G and 4G coverage available. The brand new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will be among the first enabled devices, along with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ and others including the latest Xperia smartphones from Sony Mobile. To be ready for the switch to 4G Calling, customers with an eligible device must ensure their device software is updated. Some customers may be required to turn on Voice on 4G in their settings as well. Also, devices with Caller Tones or Mobile Protect will not be compatible with VoLTE to begin with. Once VoLTE has been activated customers should experience a seamless transition, with the only give away being the 4G icon remaining on during voice calls.
We are proud to continue to lead the industry by again being the first carrier in Australia to offer this very latest calling technology to our customers with a compatible mobile handset in VoLTE enabled areas and to be included in only a select number of carriers worldwide that are currently offering VoLTE technology to their customers.