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Swisscom launches VoLTE, VoWi-Fi to arrive this summer

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Swisscom has launched VoLTE for its customers in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, ahead of the launch of a Wi-Fi calling service earmarked for summer.

Starting this week, Swisscom customers with compatible smartphones will be able to place calls via 4G LTE. 

VoLTE offers a higher-quality call experience, reduces call setup speeds to just two to three seconds and has a lower demand on smartphone battery, the operator claimed.

Although the service will initially be restricted to Samsung Galaxy S5 owners, Swisscom said that Apple, HTC, Huawei, Microsoft, Samsung and Sony devices will gain compatibility when manufacturers roll out software updates during 2015.

Meanwhile, the operator said its VoWi-Fi service will land  “as early as this summer”.

VoWi-Fi allows customers in locations lacking mobile reception to make calls over a Wi-Fi connection where one is available.

Once customers activate Wi-Fi calling, their device will be able to automatically switch between a mobile and Wi-Fi network depending on which is offering the best connection at a given time, Swisscom said.

Marc Werner, Head of Residential Customers at Swisscom, said: “In the coming days, we will become the first provider in Switzerland to offer telephony via the 4G/LTE network, followed by WiFi Calling in the near future. This will enable us to provide our customers with the best possible telephony experience.”

Elsewhere in Europe, Telefónica Deutschland began rolling out VoLTE to customers in April. Meanwhile in the UK, operators EE, Three and Vodafone all plan to launch VoLTE services later this year.

Last week, Telenor revealed its intentions to switch off its legacy 2G and 2G networks within the next ten years in order to push its 4G offering, including VoLTE.

According to a recent report from IHS, the VoIP and IMS equipment market has grown more than 25 percent in the past 12 months as a result of increased VoLTE and VoWi-Fi deployments.