South Korean carriers SK Telecom and LG Uplus are set to launch the world’s first commercial voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) services today, with the rollout of separate high-definition offerings based on the 4G technology.
SK Telecom is deploying a high definition audio codec that can support voice on a frequency band 2.2 times wider than that of a 3G voice call. The service also promises to cut call connection time to less than 0.25 to 2.5 seconds, compared to a typical 3G voice connection time of five seconds.
Bae Joon-dong, president of SK Telecom’s network operation business, says the new service establishes the firm as a leading player in LTE “in terms of market share, network infrastructure and technology.”
The operator is offering the service on Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE handsets with embedded HD Voice features, for the same 1.8 won (€0.001) per second rate as its 3G service.
Smaller rival LG Uplus is also launching commercial VoLTE services via the Galaxy S3 and Optimus LTE 2 smartphones, the Korea Times reports.
KT Corp, the country's top fixed-line operator and number two mobile carrier, plans to commercialize the service in October following a pilot program that kicked off in July.