Samsung handsets to support Smart’s VoLTE, VoWifi

Customers using the latest Samsung handsets, including the newly released Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+, can soon enjoy a richer call experience as PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) partners with Samsung in rolling out Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) services, which is initially available to selected subscribers.

Soon, Smart customers can also make VoLTE calls using Samsung smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, Galaxy  S9 and S9+, Galaxy S10e, S10 and S10+, and Note 8 and 9. This technology is also available in mid-range Samsung handsets, such as the Samsung Galaxy A series.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and 10+, Galaxy S10, S10+ and S10e, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy A70, A50, A30 and A10 are among the devices being offered with the Smart Signature Device Plans.

These handsets also support Smart’s VoWifi or Wifi Calling service, which was activated last year.

VoLTE-ready network

Smart recently activated VoLTE across its LTE sites in Metro Manila. VoLTE is the first, fully IP based carrier grade voice service and uses LTE/4G to transmit voice calls.

This is unlike the current setup, where users shift from the 4G network to 2G or 3G mobile networks in order to make a voice call.

VoLTE’s main benefit is the high-definition voice call quality. Calls made over VoLTE are superior in quality compared to calls made over 3G and 2G, and VoLTE-to-VoLTE calls are crystal-clear, with almost no background noise.

VoLTE also enables faster call setup, which means the amount of time it takes for a mobile phone to connect to another for a voice call is also drastically reduced.

All these benefits will be available when calling other VoLTE users, or Voice over Wifi (VoWifi) users

As they no longer have to shift to 3G or 2G networks, VoLTE users also stay online on the fastest 4G/LTE network with their data applications even when making or receiving a call. This means that a user can simultaneously be in a voice call, while actively using high-speed data for other applications.

With VoLTE-capable handsets, customers can make VoLTE calls using their phone’s native dialer, and will not require a separate, over-the-top (OTT) application.

Compared to OTT apps, VoLTE delivers better voice quality, and also guarantees that the receiver of the call is reached, unlike OTTs that require both caller and receiver to be online and on the same app.

“In addition to constantly innovating to deliver the best customer experience, we are also happy to partner with device manufacturers like Samsung in making technologies like VoLTE and VoWifi more accessible to our subscribers,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT-Smart senior vice president for Network Planning and Engineering.

“Through services like VoLTE and Wifi Calling, we are able to deliver an enriching voice call experience when our customers talk with their loved ones, and make business calls,” Tamayo added. “With VoLTE, we are also able to maximize our available network resources, particularly for LTE.”

“At Samsung, we are committed to meaningful innovations that put the customers first. We also believe that it will take open systems and open partnerships to unleash the power of technology. Smart’s new endeavor to enhance how customers connect is a step toward the right direction where our lives flow seamlessly across home, work, and play,” shared Jerry Mañus, Business Unit Head for IT & Mobile of Samsung Philippines.

Wifi Calling

Last year, Smart also activated VoWifi services or Wifi Calling, which lets customers make and receive calls and text messages over a Wifi connection using their smartphone’s native dialer, without having to install a third-party app.

Apart from improved calling and messaging experience, Wifi Calling also offers extended network coverage, as customers can make and receive voice calls, as well as video calls, wherever there is Wifi connection.

These services are enabled by parent company PLDT’s extensive fiber network which now spans more than 283,000 kilometers. This fiber infrastructure also supports Smart’s wireless network by providing high-capacity links to cellular base stations.

PLDT has committed historic levels of resources for network transformation. This year, capital expenditures are at P78.4 billion.

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