Africa-focused telco and network service provider Smile Communications has partnered with MediaTek, a global provider of 4G LTE chipset platform, to roll out VoLTE (Voice over 4G LTE) smartphones to DRC, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.
This follows validation of MediaTek’s 4G VoLTE solution on the Smile network. MediaTek Director of Corporate Sales for South and Sub Saharan Africa, Dominique Friedl said the smartphones are targeted at the entry level 4G LTE market.
“The smartphone is targeted at the entry level 4G LTE market – characterised by feature–rich devices at an affordable price point which will be between US$80 and US$110.” Friedl said.
He adds that VoLTE devices and relevant services will be available from Smile Communications retail outlets across the telco’s focus markets.
These are the markets in which the telco owns, operates and delivers its 4G LTE services and Friedl says there are no plans as yet to extend the partnership to other regions.
In a joint statement the companies describe 4G VoLTE as a voice technology for high definition voice and video communications over a 4G LTE network.
“Compared to traditional 2G and 3G networks, VoLTE allows consumers to benefit from superior voice, video and data services on single device and a single data plan. It gives customers the choice of using their data for any service they want including voice and video, allows for faster connection of traditional calls and improves call quality,” reads the statement.
Smile Group Executive Director Operations, Ahmad Farroukh, says: “Affordability and superior technology are the key factors for a successful rollout of 4G VoLTE. Our collaboration with MediaTek will help ensure seamless voice, data and SMS services over LTE with dual-SIM, affordable smartphones on MediaTek’s Helio platform.”
Friedl adds, “VoLTE is recognised as the industry-agreed progression of voice services, enabling operators to make more efficient use of spectrum than traditional voice, eliminating the need to have voice on one network and data on another, and unlocking new revenue potential. We are delighted to work with Smile as it uses this technology to leapfrog legacy mobile voice solutions and provide customers with a new-age user experience.”