China Telecom's chairman Wang Xiaochu recently announced that the company was currently working on a VoLTE project with a launch date scheduled for 2018, the China Topix website reports.
VoLTE—or Voice over LTE—is already being used in the United States by a number of network carriers, and has been proven to offer higher quality voice calls by leveraging the LTE platform. Soon, this superior call service will be made available to Chinese consumers.
Speaking at the 7th Smart Terminal and Mobile Internet Industry Summit, the chairman reportedly said that work would begin this year on the technical testing and verification of VoLTE.
Physical restricting of China Telecom's VoLTE will begin in 2016, with their business services, IT, and an expansion of network coverage. This large-scale reconfiguration will service some customers by as early as 2017, with 2018 being set as the target date for full functionality.
The telecoms company is also developing an integrated fiber optic network as part of the project for 2017; the target percentage is hoped to reach 80%, which would provide a greater number of communities with improved network coverage.
Having received approval of their 4G network application, the project will be China's first delve into LTE, and could in fact boost the 4G network as it might be compulsory for the VoLTE project to function.
As well as China Telecom, China's other major network providers are China Unicorn and China Mobile Ltd., the latter of which has had the 4G service for almost two years, gaining it some 107 million subscribers.