Vodafone Czech Republic has chosen Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) as supplier for a full-scale upgrade of the operator's core network and has launched VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling.
Ericsson has implemented a full suite of products and services which will enable Vodafone to offer high-definition (HD) voice and simultaneous surfing over LTE networks, as well as richer communication services experiences, such as video calling over LTE.
Wi-Fi calling is a very important part of the delivered solution being ready for usage on smartphones with native support for this functionality, which means that the users just makes a regular phone call via the phone’s dialer. For users with smartphones that do not support native Wi-Fi calling, a special Vodafone app can instead be downloaded and configured by the user to make calls over Wi-Fi.
Petr Dvořák, Vice President for end customers at Vodafone says: “Vodafone will be the first operator in the Czech Republic to offer on a massive scale such calling services going beyond cellular coverage calls. Thanks to the freely available Wi-Fi calling application, Vodafone customers can take advantage of this modern service on any phones running Android 4.0 or later, so therefore, on all Android phones which Vodafone has on offer. Wi-Fi calling allows you to connect to any phone number in the same way as you do when placing regular calls from your mobile phone.”
With Wi-Fi calling, consumers can use their smartphones for operator communication services while using Wi-Fi access and their existing mobile phone number. This is beneficial to users that suffer from poor cellular coverage, such as in basements and ferroconcrete buildings. The devices connect via the home Wi-Fi access point and connect automatically to the operator-provided voice service. Users can also make operator voice calls at Wi-Fi hotspots across the world.
Valter D’Avino, Head of Region Western & Central Europe, Ericsson, says: “With this solution Vodafone Czech Republic will be able to utilize one efficient core network to enable several communication services. Our solutions and global expertise will support Vodafone in their mission to secure superior network performance, to deliver seamless services and consequently providing the best customer experience."
The network includes the Ericsson IP Multimedia Subsystem (with Call Session Control Function, Multimedia Telephony Application Server, and Session Border Gateway) and Ericsson Wi-Fi Mobility Gateway, User Data Consolidation and related professional services.
Today there are approximately 15 million mobile subscriptions and over 1,2 million fixed phones in the Czech Republic. The first LTE network went live in 2013 and the LTE is available to 97 % of the population.
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