Telco giant Safaricom launches video calls technology in Kenya

KENYA – Kenya based leading telecommunication giant, Safaricom, has launched Voice over LTE (VolTE), an advanced technology that delivers high quality life-like sound over voice and video across 4G network.

The company said the services are already available countrywide to any Safaricom customer with a VoLTE-supporting 4G device and a 4G enabled SIM Card, and will be offered at no additional cost compared to standard calls.

This will see subscribers enjoy fast call set up including making calls whilst browsing, enjoy HD calls and video calls that are ultra clear with reduced background noise, making conversation more effective.

Calls on VoLTE can be distinguished by the “HD Calling” symbol which appears when a VoLTE call is in progress while subscribers can also tell when they are on VoLTE by the “VoLTE” symbol in their status bars.

According to Charles Kare, director consumer business at Safaricom, VoLTE has better phone call quality that is three times better than 3G and six times better than 2G, reports The Star.

“We are the first to bring this technology to East Africa. Our customers can now make quality voice and video calls without internet and at normal calling rates,’’ Kare said.

Safaricom is said to have been considering to launch this technology especially after switching on to 4G network but needed to liaise with phone manufacturers to push an update to support VoLTE.

It has since brought almost all android 4G phones on board after partnering with Samsung, Tecno, Intel, Huawei and Nokia.

The telco is engaging Apple to bring on board Iphone users who are currently locked out of the VoLTE.

Due to the ability of 4G networks to support a higher data capacity, the technology eliminates background noise, background jitter and other distortions that are characteristic of normal calling technologies.

The technology also allows a customer to switch between voice and video calls during a VoLTE call, though video calls will only be possible if both the caller’s and receiver’s device support the technology.

Safaricom has revealed that 45 per cent of its subscribers are covered with 4G and is set to push it to 80 per cent by March next year.

‘’Our 4G network currently covers 2000 towns across the country. We plan to increase this to 5000 towns or 80 per cent of our subscribers by March 2020,’’ Kare said.

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