VoLTE arrives in Indonesia

The rollout out of voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) continues, with a leading Indonesian player joining the growing number of operators offering LTE-based voice calls to its subscribers.

Telkomsel says it has soft-launched its VoLTE service. The new service is accessible to around 114,000 Telkomsel customers in the Jadetabek area (Jakarta, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi) and Surabaya, with other areas to follow in due course.

Telkomsel promotional material says that the VoLTE service is for selected customers only and outlines the benefits of the service, including the ability to talk on the phone and browse the internet at the same time, clearer voice quality, quicker voice connectivity and seamless videocalls. Telkomsel also offers a guide to smartphones that support VoLTE.

Telkomsel was established in May 1995 (its website logo highlights the fact that it is celebrating its 25th year in business) and now has more than 170 million customers, making it the largest cellular operator in Indonesia.

It is focusing on the deployment of LTE at 900MHz as part of long-term plans to deliver 4G services to 95 percent of the population in cities and districts across Indonesia. It reached that target last month, having deployed 87,000 base stations on its network to support a wide range of broadband and digital-based services. Telkomsel says it has built more than 209,000 base stations in total.

As LTE rolls out globally, VoLTE, an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-based service, which removes the need to rely on the legacy circuit-switched voice network, has not been far behind. Vodafone Qatar deployed commercial VoLTE services earlier this year and leading Kenyan operator Safaricom announced the launch of voice and video calls over VoLTE on its 4G network a year ago.

India, Peru, Uganda and Tanzania are among other countries where some subscribers can use VoLTE, though VoLTE-ready smartphones are usually required and the approach to billing may differ from one territory and operator to another.

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