Smart rolls out VoLTE services in Metro Mla

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SMART Communications, Inc. said it will now start offering its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services to select subscribers in Metro Manila.

The wireless arm of PLDT, Inc. said in a statement yesterday it is commencing the commercial rollout out of the VoLTE service, which will enable users to make and receive calls over an LTE (long term evolution) network.

“After activating VoLTE across its LTE sites in Metro Manila, Smart is making the latest technology in voice calls initially available to selected Smart subscribers. The service will soon be available to Smart Signature plan holders as well,” it said.

VoLTE is a service that will allow customers to make calls using an LTE connection through the native dialer of their VoLTE-capable mobile phones, removing the need to install a third-party calling application.

Compared to traditional mobile voice services, VoLTE transmits high-definition voice calls which Smart said is of “superior quality.” It added that “VoLTE-to-VoLTE calls are crystal-clear, with almost no background noise.”

Smart made its first successful VoLTE mobile call in 2017. It said the VoLTE service it is now launching commercially will require VoLTE-capable devices, which so far are limited to products such as Samsung Galaxy S8 and higher, Huawei Mate 20 and P20.

Aside from VoLTE, the company is also studying Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) services over its network, which it successfully tested last year. This service will allow any WiFi calling-capable mobile phone to make calls over a WiFi network.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Denise A. Valdez