BICS claims Asia Europe VoLTE first

BICS, the international wholesale arm of Belgian operator Proximus, reckons it has successfully launched the first fully end-to-end international VoLTE call between Europe and Asia.

As new technologies, such as VoLTE, develop and get closer to commercial rollout, the number of qualified world “firsts” seems to grow exponentially. In this case, BICS is claiming its demonstration involves full testing on live and commercially available LTE networks and compatible devices between Proximus and Korean operator SK Telecom.

According to BICS, its IPX network has had an IPX VoLTE hub upgrade, which enables its MNO clients to extend service offerings and covers international VoLTE support. The international VoLTE call between Belgium and South Korea enabled HD, low latency calling, which is inherently spectrally efficient, helping to reduce mobile operators’ opex.

SK Telecom’s head of network technology R&D, Jin-Hyo Park, illustrated how imperative new voice innovations such as international VoLTE remain to the consumer experience and for the future of mobile operators’ business strategy.

“SK Telecom prides itself on pushing the boundaries of innovation and this latest announcement further enhances our position as the service leader in the Republic of Korea,” he said. “International VoLTE provides the best in class voice quality demanded by customers already enjoying the service domestically.”

Dutch operator KPN recently warned that VoLTE has the ability to cause a “storm”, referring to periodic flashes of traffic which can’t be appropriately managed by the signalling network, thus affecting user experience and quality of service. The director of services platform and cloud at Proximus, Laurent Claus, however believes the benefits of VoLTE outweigh the risk highlighted by KPN.

“Providing exceptional quality of experience to customers is of paramount importance to us, and launching international VoLTE was the next logical step we needed to take to enhance our voice offering,” he said. “The BICS platform enables us to offer services at the highest standards while keeping running costs and bandwidth demands low.”

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