Vodafone Group Enhances WiFi Calling Service in the UK

Vodafone Group PlcVOD has expanded the range of smartphones in which its recently launched WiFi calling facility will be available in the UK. The service which is currently available on Apple's iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus will soon be available on Samsung's Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge devices.

Using the WiFi calling service of the telecom operator, a subscriber can make and receive phone calls from areas where insufficient or no mobile signal is available. In order to offer this service, Vodafone has rolled out its HD (high definition) Voice technology and 4G LTE - A (LTE Advanced network) using carrier aggregation technology.

Vodafone is not the first operator to offer WiFi calling service in the UK. Its rival EE has stared this service in Apr 2015. Notably, in Feb 2015, BT Group Plc. BT entered into a definitive agreement with Orange SA ORAN and Deutsche Telekom AG to acquire a 100% stake in U.K.-based wireless operator EE. BT is a leading integrated telecom operator globally.

Moreover, Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. controlled 3UK recently unveiled its move to launch a VoLTE (voice over LTE) service. In Mar 2015, Hutchison Whampoa acquired O2, the UK wireless operation of Telefonica SA TEF .

Over the last couple of years, the UK telecom sector has been witnessing a wave of consolidation. Introduction of the latest network technologies has significantly intensified competition in this market. In order to attain economies of scale to remain competitive, several telecom companies are looking for merger options in a bid to offer quad-play services comprising wireless, wireline, Internet and video services.

Vodafone strengthened its fixed broadband network in the UK with the acquisition of the fixed broadband infrastructure of Cable and Wireless in Jul 2012. Moreover, the company is the first wireless carrier in the U.K. to commercially offer LTE-A service.

Wireless network standards are continuously evolving to serve the varied needs of today's world. Vodafone plans to invest £2 billion in the UK over 2014-2015 to strengthen indoor and outdoor network coverage and provide mobile Internet access to more users. Vodafone currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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