- Users can switch between voice and video or conference calls directly
- Collaborating with LG UPlus to provide VoLTE international roaming
PT Smartfren Telecom Tbk has launched a Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) app that would allow Android phone users to enjoy video and voice calls over its 4G LTE (Fourth Generation/ Long-Term Evolution) network.
Smartfren said the app is supported by select Android smartphones from manufacturers such as Asus, Hisense, Lenovo, Motorola, One Plus, Samsung, Sony, and Wiko.
The app was developed in partnership with Canadian mobile vendor MiTel and is currently only available from the Android Google Play store.
Two months ago, Smartfren had made available VoLTE services for those using its Andromax R2 and E2 smartphones.
Smartfren brand chief Roberto Saputra said the app would enable the telco to make better use of the new 4G spectrum it had acquired last November.
“The app can ensure quality voice and video calls, texting and conferencing on our 4G network,” he said at the official launch in Jakarta on April 28.
Roberto predicted that about 70% of all mobile phones sold in Indonesia would support VoLTE technology by the end of 2016, adding that it was limited handset compatibility that had stymied VoLTE adoption.
According to Juniper Research, the number of global active VoLTE connections worldwide could reach two billion by 2020, up from the 123 million recorded in 2015.
Roberto also claimed that Smartfren’s network is ready to make VoLTE commercially available, but the company has to wait for government regulations around VoLTE and interconnection rates with other operators.
International roaming tests
Smartfren said it has already begun VoLTE international roaming tests with South-Korean telco operator LG UPlus.
“We chose to collaborate with LG UPlus because it was the first operator to provide commercial LTE in South Korea,” Smartfren international services head Novi Lestari.
She said those who wanted to enjoy LTE connectivity have to switch to a uSIM card, and by using the Smart VoLTE app, local users who are not Smartfren subscribers will get ‘virtual numbers.’
“It’s not OTT-to-OTT (over-the-top) voice or video calls – the app offers direct dialing and is able to make cross-operator calls,” said Novi.
“You can switch between voice and video or conference calls without hanging up your phone,” she added.
After testing the VoLTE service with LG UPlus, Smartfren will conduct trials with other Asian operator later this year, according to Novi.
Smartfren currently has 1.2 million active 4G users, along with 15,000 VoLTE users, out of its 13.5 million total customer base nationwide.
Data services accounted for more than 80% of the company’s approximately US$228 million revenue last year, while voice services only contributed 10%.
Smartfren had previously announced that it planned to expand its 4G network coverage to 160 cities by the end of 2016, having reached 85 cities at end-2015.
Smartfren ups the 4G ante in Indonesia
Indonesia's Smartfren launches LTE-Advanced network
Active VoLTE connections to pass 2bil by 2020: Juniper
For more technology news and the latest updates, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Like us on Facebook.