Optus has become the last of Australia's major telcos to introduce VoLTE — Voice over LTE — which allows customers to make and receive calls over the high-speed 4G Plus network. This saves phones from constantly having to switch between 3G and 4G while making calls, while also lending itself to clearer, more consistent calls.
Telstra began its VoLTE rollout late last year, with Vodafone following behind in December. Optus is now ready to join them after an extensive round of testing and tweaking for the optimum user experience. The rollout is beginning in Australia's major capital cities, and thus far will only support two devices — the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
VoLTE allows calls to be placed over the 4G network, which previously only supported data transfer. "VoLTE provides customers a number of benefits including high definition quality voice calls, faster call connections and the ability for customers to multitask on their device while browsing and making a call over a 4G connection," explains Dennis Wong, acting Managing Director of Networks.
While the improved call quality is a major plus of VoLTE services, Optus believes it'll be most useful for those who want to continue to use their device while making calls, as they won't have to lose their 4G connection to keep chatting. "We've all been on a call when we've needed to quickly look up the address of a restaurant or download a file from an email," Mr Wong said. "With VoLTE, this will all be a lot faster and easier because you'll stay on a 4G connection."
The rollout will begin with postpaid and SMB customers in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra metro areas. Compatibility with other devices aside from the Samsung S7s is set to come soon, and Optus intends to continue to expand its VoLTE footprint into regional Australia.