By Anu Passary | Aug 15, 2012 10:43 AM EDT
Dropped calls and interrupted connections are soon set to fade into oblivion, courtesy Samsung's HD VoLTE technology. On Aug. 9, Samsung confirmed that it will be launching the Voice over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE) services in the South Korean market in August. Samsung beats rival iPhone 5 in the process and is poised to become the world's first HD VoLTE smartphone.
Korean operator SK Telecom will be integrating the HD VoLTE technology with the Galaxy S3. The global debut is expected to follow the Korea one; however, Samsung did not indicate a specific time line for the same and only let on that the Korea launch will be "followed by availability in global LTE markets."
"We will continue to work to quickly roll out VoLTE enabled products globally, providing the best LTE experience for our customers across the world," said JK Shin, Samsung's Mobile Communications President.
Despite the lack of a specific timeframe, the news has generated excitement and is seen a major milestone for the industry. The little-known VoLTE technology is also ruffling feathers aplenty with some claiming that Samsung is not the first to adopt the VoLTE service.
"MetroPCS beat Samsung to the punch earlier in the summer with the announcement of its own VoLTE service and the LG Connect 4G," according to Techradar.
Samsung's Web site gives consumers fleeting glimpses into this emerging technology, which relies on "IP packet-based service for both voice and data". The benefits of VoLTE are ample. For starters, one need not download additional calling service apps or hardware. The technology also allows the introduction of "new multimedia services" like call conversions i.e., from a voice call to a video call. Additionally, the high quality calls make one feel like they're having a direct face-to-face conversation. The improved call quality is said to be double the voice frequency of both HD-level audio codec and 3G. A 3G service uses a frequency bandwidth of 300 to 2400 hertz, as opposed to VoLTE that is optimized for a 50 to 7000 hertz band.
"[It will] make customers feel as if the person on the other end of the line is sitting right next to him or her," said Irene Kim, SK Telecom's spokesperson. What's more, 3G services take approximately five seconds to connect a call. Kim asserted that VoLTE will reduce call connection time to a quarter of a second.
Reports indicate that the new Galaxy S3 devices will come pre-loaded with HD Voice compatibility, courtesy SK Telecom. Existing Galaxy S3 users need not fret as an update is expected to be rolled out later.
Samsung has not dropped any hints that it would be bringing the VoLTE technology to any of its other devices as well. However, the Galaxy Note 2 (scheduled for an Aug. 29 debut) is expected to sport the VoLTE option.
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