Ukrainian operator Kyivstar has announced plans to launch voice over LTE (VoLTE) on its network by 2021.
In fact, according to Ukrainian press reports, the technology will work throughout the country by the end of 2020, wherever the operator’s 4G network is provided.
Actual availability will be a different matter, however. First in the queue for VoLTE will be contract subscribers who actively use most of Kyivstar’s services. During 2021, the technology will become available to prepaid subscribers. The company has stressed to subscribers that calls made via VoLTE will not affect mobile data charges.
However, VoLTE availability will also depend on the phone model used. Kyivstar is apparently actively negotiating with the most popular brands in Ukraine to enable VoLTE on their phones and says that a wide range of Apple smartphones have already been activated. During 2021, it says, other smartphone manufacturers will activate VoLTE on a number of popular models.
As we reported earlier this month, Kyivstar has extended its 900MHz 4G LTE services to all 25 regions in the country just four months after launching the offering – and it’s not alone. Deployment of LTE-900 technology by Ukrainian operators is aimed at connecting rural regions and smaller settlements that are difficult and expensive to reach using 1800MHz and 2600MHz spectrum.
Currently Kyivstar claims 85 percent LTE coverage between its 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz spectrum.