China Mobile is set to launch commercial voice over LTE (VoLTE) service next year as the company gears up for the pending rollout of its nation-wide TD-LTE networks.
Speaking at GTI Asia Conference in Shanghai yesterday, China Mobile CEO Li Yue said the company aims to begin testing the technology by fourth quarter of this year, followed by a large-scale field trial in the first half of 2014.
“By the fourth quarter of 2014 [we will] have a full commercial launch of VoLTE services,” he said. “We hope VoLTE will become a global mainstream voice standard for LTE and a solution to integrate FDD and TDD,” Li said.
Li noted that VoLTE has many advantages over traditional circuit switch (CS) voice services, including an all-IP network architecture which will reduce costs and increase capacity significantly. Additionally it also supports the launch of high-definition voice services and other applications, he added.
The company released a white paper detailing its VoLTE plans at Mobile Asia Expo.
Li’s announcement came days after the world’s largest mobile carrier by subscribers launched its long-expected equipment tender for its TD-LTE networks.
Commercial VoLTE services have so far been launched on FDD networks by operators including South Korea’s SK Telecom and LG Uplus as well as the USA's MetroPCS.