Robi Axiata Ltd launched the country's first Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service on February 12 at a hotel in the capital, said a press release.
Initially, Robi and Airtel customers in Dhaka and Chattogram divisions will be able to avail this innovative service. At the time of launching, more than five thousand sites in the two divisions were activated with the VoLTE service.
Gradually, the service will be expanded to the rest of the country, the press release added.
VoLTE is an IP-based voice call technology. It is particularly designed to ensure HD quality voice calls. VoLTE treats voice as just another application that rides on the LTE data network.
The technology will allow customers to have their calls set up within 3 to 4 seconds, which is 40-50 percent faster than the traditional 2G or 3G voice calls.
The best part is there will be no additional charges for using VoLTE services.
In addition, according to a study by the GSMA – the global trade body of all mobile operators – customers get 40 percent more battery life using VoLTE compared to calls made through OTTs or Over the Top services provided by whatsapp, viber, imo etc.
To avail the service, both the receiver and caller need to have VoLTE supported and enabled 4G handsets and VoLTE activated 4G SIM card.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal was present at the launching event as the chief guest. Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar was also present on the occasion as the special guest.
Asaduzzaman Khan thanked Robi for launching VoLTE in Bangladesh. "It would be excellent to see the quality of service in the telecom sector improve due to VoLTE," he said.
Mustafa Jabbar said, "Robi was the only operator that came forward when we conducted the trial run for 5G. Similarly, when it came to VoLTE, we find Robi coming forward to deliver this innovative voice service."
He hoped that other operators would follow suit in launching VoLTE.
Posts and Telecommunications Division Secretary Md Nur-Ur-Rahman and Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Chairman Md. Jahurul Haque were present at the launching programme as the guests of honour.
Speaking on the occasion, Robi's Managing Director and CEO Mahtab Uddin Ahmed said, "We are indeed very proud to be the first operator to launch the VoLTE service in the country."
"The most exciting part is that our customers will not have to pay any extra charge for availing this new innovative experience," he added.
Alluding to VoLTE as the real game changer, he said, "At the beginning of the telecom industry about two decades ago, voice services were handled in the traditional way using 2G and 3G technologies where 3G was only an intermediary technology."
The 3G technology never seemed to offer long term solution to voice call quality, he observed. In comparison, using IP technology, VoLTE truly changes the way voice calls are managed."
Robi's Chief Commercial Officer, Shihab Ahmad also spoke on the occasion.
Earlier, on January 16 last year, Robi conducted the first successful trial of VoLTE technology on its 4.5G network.
Interested Robi or Airtel customers can enjoy the VoLTE service by dialing *86583#. Officials from Robi and Airtel will later on reach out to the interested users to guide them into enjoying the service if they are eligible. Robi and Airtel customers may also call its customer care number: 121 to learn more about the process. Customers can also visit selected Robi and Airtel walk-in-centres to experience the service and learn further details.