Vodafone on Wednesday said it had hit a major milestone in its core network upgrade with its 5.3 million customers now using the infrastructure for 4G data sessions.
CTO, Benoit Hanssen said the telco was building a network of the future with Ericsson. All customers using 4G to download, upload and stream content on their devices are now connected to the new core network, he said.
The telco will now turn its attention to introducing Voice over 4G, or VoLTE, following the completion of a trial in February.
Vodafone claims the service – which is planned for launch later this year – will can connect calls two to three times as fast as mobile calls today.
“We’re seeing customer demand for fast 4G data continuing to grow,” said Hanssen. VoLTE will allow customers to stay on the 4G network when taking or receiving calls, instead of switching to 3G,” he said.
“One of the exciting benefits of VoLTE is that customers will be able to multi-task on 4G on their smartphone. For example, if a customer wants to browse the net while having a conversation on the same device, they’ll still have access to fast 4G data speeds,” he said.
Vodafone last August told the fixing its core network to catch up to Telstra and Optus and return to profitability.
Since 2010, it lost more than 1 million customers to Telstra and Optus but last July said it was about halfway through its three-year turnaround initiative.
A March report by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman found that the telco reduce the number of complaints per 10,000 services in operation from 18 in December 2013 to 10.5 as of December last year. The telco also added 91,000 customers in the six month to the end of December, ending the period with 5.3 million customers.
Vodafone also recently completed the deployment of 850MHz and 1800MHz carrier aggregation across its 4G metropolitan network, which it said would provide faster and more reliable data services to customers.
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