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Three pledges wider network coverage and VoLTE calling this September

Luke Johnson

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Three

Three has detailed plans to improve its network coverage in the UK, confirming it will introduce Voice over LTE calling later this year.

Part of a wider push to improve its nationwide coverage, the network has revealed it hopes to add VoLTE calling capabilities as early as September.

The Voice over LTE improvements which, as its name suggests allows users to make voice calls over the data network, will offer users wider coverage, high-definition calling and superfast call set up times thanks to the company’s 800MHz spectrum.

At present the company runs on the 1800MHz spectrum, with the 800MHz spectrum to be turned on this autumn for improved coverage breath.

According to Three, the switch on will offer improved indoor coverage as well as expanding the network’s reach into the deeper depths of the countryside.

We are going to deliver Voice over LTE in autumn 2015. The target month is September and we are confident we are going to hit that timescale,” Brin Jones, Three’s Chief Technical Officer said making the announcement.

He added: “A few years ago we bought the 800MHz spectrum. That gives you coverage breadth. It travels around three times further than our 1800MHz spectrum can’t reach.

“That’s what we are going to be using to improve indoor signal and coverage in the countryside.

“When we introduce the 800MHz spectrum, that will penetrate buildings much better.”

Three has stressed that when its VoLTE services launch, the service will be seamlessly introduced to customers with compatible handsets, without charge.

Handsets that currently support VoLTE calling include headline devices such as the iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6.

Three predicts that it will have 2 million VoLTE-capable handsets on its network by the end of the year, expanding to 4 million devices in 2016.

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The company isn’t stopping there either. The network has pledged to enhance its Three inTouch Wi-Fi calling service to allow users to seamlessly switch between Wi-Fi and 4G call handling – much like EE’s own EE WiFi Calling.

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