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As 4G is a data-only technology, a telco needs to have either extra features to support voice over 4G or use the existing legacy networks like 2G, 3G while being on 4G. The extra feature solution to provide Voice service over 4G LTE is VoLTE (Voice over LTE). It is similar to Voice over IP, which means the voice passes through the data network for the voice service.
VoLTE works in the same way as the OTT applications like Viber, Skype, messenger but you can call using your own number through 4G. In this technology/service, you can just make a call in the same way as before in 2G and 3G. There are expectations that with this service, the voice call becomes free. But for a country like Nepal, that will be too early for now. So, the telcos in Nepal will charge the calls through the service in cost per minute (or pulse rate).
Using VoLTE, customers can get crystal clear, high-quality voice service in 4G. The noises in the voice call that is there with 2G, 3G will be minimized sharply with the service. Similarly, the HD video calling feature will also come along, with the ability to transfer high-speed data rates. You can get those services from the regular dialler in your latest phones. Similarly, this service enables a new greenfield telecom operator to start their service right away with 4G only service launch. This is what Jio in India did with massive network deployment and later got a widespread adoption by the public.
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First of all, the telco whose SIM you use must have the service VoLTE enabled in their network. Not every 4G LTE network will have this feature. Similarly, in the customer end, you need to have VoLTE support in your handset/smartphone. You need to remember the point as “Not every 4G phone has VoLTE enabled”. So if you want to use the service, make sure your operator and your handset support the service.
“Not every telecom operator supports VoLTE nor every smartphones”.
As known, the handset makers also need to customize the Vo-LTE support in the phone as per the network’s settings and the equipment provider. Due to which, the service takes a long time to reach the public although the network does support it. It is done to assure the network quality by configuring the network rightly.
With the VoLTE supported handsets, you need to enable the feature in the settings.
Due to the VoLTE feature, any new telecom operator can provide Voice service without the need to have 2G or 3G. So, there can be a 4G only telecom operator.
With the new 4G project, Nepal Telecom plans to bring VoLTE on a massive scale across the country. It could also be in new areas where there are no telco services, will have this advanced feature. Another leading telco, Ncell may also bring the VoLTE service in the near future. As we said, this feature is idle for the upcoming telcos to be a 4G only operator while providing Voice using VoLTE. It is mostly useful for the upcoming operators like UTL, CG Telecom, Smart Telecom, Hello Nepal.
Does your handset support VoLTE? Please comment below.