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Friday, 20 June 2014 12:21

EE trials 4G calls over wi-fi

Written by Nick Farrell

4G calling services ready for 2015

UK mobile operator EE will start trials for calls to be held over Wi-Fi later this year. The outfit has written a £275 million cheque to provide advanced voice capabilities, helping connect more rural parts of the UK who don't have the strongest levels of signal with EE.

EE will also spruce up its 2G and 3G sites to handle the increased data usage across the network and make way for 4G calling services to launch in 2015. Dubbed VoLTE (Voice over LTE) because the phone industry does not have enough acronyms, the trial will see network coverage expanded in rural areas using low frequency spectrum.

In a statement the company said in recent demonstrations at the EE Test Lab, the system will use the 800MHz spectrum acquired in last year's auction.

The trial will expand data and voice coverage, bringing service to a previously unconnected part of rural Oxfordshire. 800MHz spectrum has a significantly greater reach than 1800MHz spectrum so can be used by EE to significantly increase the geographical coverage of its data and voice network.

EE says that it will have more than 90 percent coverage with its 4G voice upgrades. There is even an app which will spot blackholes in signal coverage, informing technicians where improvements need to be made. There is no guarantee that anyone will fix the holes, but at least people will know they are there.

Nick Farrell

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