Telenor's Danish subsidiary is planning to launch commercial voice over LTE (VoLTE) services in 2015, after completing its first test call of the technology using kit from Nokia Networks.
The operator said the trial at its Aalborg testing centre is the first time it has conducted a voice call on its 4G network, which to date has been used solely for mobile data. Further testing will now take place ahead of a commercial VoLTE launch in 2015, the company added.
In a statement, Telenor Denmark said VoLTE will cut the time it takes to connect calls, which today is typically at least 10 seconds due to the time it takes users' handsets to switch out of 4G mode into 3G or 2G settings. Consumers will also be able to make calls in areas where LTE infrastructure will plug gaps in its existing 2G and 3G coverage, the company said.
Telenor's network director Kim Krogh Andersen said VoLTE is "just one of several innovations" the operator has planned for 2015, after completing a two-year LTE network rollout in partnership with Telia.
In a related Nokia Networks statement, Andersen added that the tests "demonstrate crystal clear voice quality."
The infrastructure company predicts that 10 per cent of all LTE subscribers will use VoLTE by 2016. Account manager Rabi Daniel said the "richer communication experience" of VoLTE will "put Telenor in a strong position."
During 2014 Telenor Denmark added LTE to 400 of its existing 3G masts to boost coverage in smaller towns, while separately adding 3G to 85 existing 2G masts, the company said.
In early December, the operator revealed a plan to merge with Danish rival TeliaSonera--a move analysts said would provide a credible challenge to the domination of the market by TDC, and that the operators said would generate savings of at least DKK800 million (€107 million/$131 million) in synergies from 2019 onwards.
However, Jefferies International analysts noted the deal is likely to face heavy scrutiny by European regulators because it would cut the number of mobile operators in Denmark from four to three, which in turn could marginalise Three Denmark.
Telenor and Telia have shared infrastructure in Denmark since 2012, but argue that an "independent and full-function joint venture is the strategically preferred route to capture synergies and create value" in the market.
EC tipped to closely scrutinise Telenor/TeliaSonera Danish joint venture
Huawei signs 5-year agreement with Telenor on RAN deployment
Danish operators sell Paii mobile payments company to bank-owned rival Swipp
Telenor, Telefónica forge IP Exchange deal covering 400M LTE subscribers
IP Exchange will play key role in enabling VoLTE roaming
Telenor Q3 profit slips despite revenue rise