SingTel, Asia's leading communications group, in collaboration with Ericsson and Samsung, is set to unveil a new era of mobile voice communications with the launch of voice over LTE (VoLTE) services in Singapore in the coming months.
The operator will also launch of a range of other 4G/LTE services this year in collaboration with Ericsson. These include:
- 300Mbps mobile broadband service with LTE-Advanced
- Improved video streaming with LTE Broadcast technology
- Enhanced indoor coverage with Ericsson Radio Dot System technology.
Ericsson is supplying its VoLTE solution, which will allow customers to enjoy conversations that are significantly clearer than conventional mobile voice services. VoLTE delivers a broader range of audio frequencies, resulting in richer and more true-to-life sound with significantly reduced background noise.
In addition, calls will be connected in less than two seconds compared with five to ten seconds on 3G networks. Customers will have the flexibility to make calls and use 4G mobile data services at the same time without compromising 4G data connectivity speeds.
SingTel's VoLTE service will be the first of its kind to be equipped with Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) capability. This automatically switches ongoing calls without interruption to the 3G network if users lose connection to the 4G network.
SingTel will work with Samsung to introduce a range of VoLTE-compatible smartphones to Singapore, such as the next highly anticipated Galaxy S device. The Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 will also receive a firmware upgrade in the coming months to support the service.
300Mbps mobile broadband service with LTE-Advanced
SingTel is working closely with Ericsson to upgrade its Singapore 4G network to LTE-Advanced later this year. This will enable SingTel to boost the maximum data speeds of its 4G service to 300Mbps. This is double the speed currently offered.
With this upgrade, customers will enjoy a better experience for video, music, games and other multimedia content on-the-move, as well as web surfing and communications.
LTE-Advanced enables the aggregation of multiple mobile spectrum bands, delivering higher data speeds, greater spectral efficiency, and an increase in system capacity. Network performance on the cell edge will also be greatly improved, providing mobile users with better coverage and experience.
Improved video streaming with LTE Broadcast technology
To enhance the experience for the large number of Singapore consumers who use their mobile devices to view videos, SingTel will undertake a trial of LTE Broadcast technology in the second half of the year.
Based on Ericsson's Evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) solution, LTE Broadcast will enable a virtually unlimited number of mobile users in densely populated areas to stream high quality live broadcast videos simultaneously to their mobile devices. The solution makes the most efficient use of mobile frequency spectrum and network resources.
In addition, the technology will greatly enhance the video viewing experience at live events with capabilities such as access to multiple camera angles, feeds and statistics in real-time.
Enhanced indoor coverage with Ericsson Radio Dot System technology
To address the challenges of ensuring high quality mobile voice and data services within buildings, SingTel will undertake a trial of Ericsson Radio Dot System solution in the second half of the year.
The Ericsson Radio Dot System enables operators to deliver high-performance coverage and capacity in any size or type of building. It is designed to integrate seamlessly with SingTel's LTE and 3G networks to deliver a consistent user experience and ensure that indoor and outdoor networks evolve in unison.
Using cost-effective and ultra-compact radio antenna equipment, the solution extends 4G and 3G coverage to hard-to-reach areas in offices and apartments where mobile signals are blocked by walls and partitions.
The solution will complement SingTel's recent roll-out of small cells solution in locations such as underground basements and car parks where conventional base stations and radio network equipment cannot be installed.
The Ericsson Radio Dot System is compact and offers flexible mounting. It introduces a revolutionary antenna element, or "dot," which delivers mobile broadband access to users. Because of its convenient size, scalability, and compelling evolution path, this product caters to different kinds of users in medium to large indoor locations, and aims to address operators' needs of offering a complete indoor solution.
Dots are connected and powered via standard internet LAN cables (Category 5/6/7) to indoor radio units that link to a base station. Ericsson Radio Dot System leverages the same industry-leading features found in Ericsson's macro base station. Deployments and upgrades are simple, addressing growing capacity and coverage requirements.
Thus the users' experience is consistent wherever they go and the indoor network evolves in lockstep with the outdoor network. Ericsson Radio Dot System supports integration with Ericsson's carrier Wi-Fi portfolio enabling features such as real-time traffic steering to ensure the best user experience across both Wi-Fi and 3GPP networks.