UAE-based telecom giant Etisalat announced the launch of the country’s first voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) service.
The telco operator said it would start to use VoLTE service, an evolution of existing voice services that improves the quality of voice and video calls by sending them over its 4G LTE data network instead of its traditional voice network.
According to statement released by Etisalat, the service will bring about “major improvements” in the quality of voice and video calls, a statement said.
The new service will allow Etisalat’s prepaid and post-paid mobile customers to use LTE for voice and data services on a single LTE-enabled device. It will also operate and be charged the same as any ordinary call and will not require any special app to operate. However, a device that enables VoLTE calls will be needed.
Etisalat said that at the time of the launch, the service will be enabled by Samsung devices only, but will soon be made on other devices too.
“In today’s highly-connected world, customers increasingly want faster, more reliable and richer experience,”said Saleh Al Abdooli, the group chief executive at Etisalat.
“Although internet-based chat apps and messengers have gained popularity in recent years, voice calls continue to matter most when people want real-time, interactive and instantly gratifying connection with their families, friends or colleagues,” he added.
This move comes at a time where telecom providers across the world struggle to compete with free voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services offered by companies such as Skype and Viber.
And despite several VoIP services being banned in the UAE, many apps continue to operate in the country.
Moreover, Earlier this year, the country’s telco providers du and Etisalat blocked Snapchat’s new voice and video calling service due to the existing communications regulation in the country.
This caused a wave of reactions among people in the country including the UAE’s Youngest Councillor Saeed Al Remeithi who publicly criticized the new internet restrictions.