Ncell Axiata Limited commercially launched its Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) service in Nepal on September 1, 2022. It enables Ncell users to make higher-quality voice calls, and also use 4G cellular data at the same time.
Named “Ncell VoLTE” by the mobile service provider, the service is currently supported in selected handset models of three smartphone brands: Samsung, Vivo, and Huawei.
The model names of the supported devices are Samsung Galaxy A51, Samsung Galaxy A33, Samsung Galaxy A53, Vivo Y55, Vivo V23, Huawei Nova 3i, and Huawei Y9 Prime 2019. More devices will soon support Ncell VoLTE, according to Ncell.
What is VoLTE, what are its advantages, and what is HD voice?
VoLTE, short for Voice over Long Term Evolution, is a wireless communication standard based on IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) architectural framework to offer voice calls over a packet-based LTE (4G) network.
It reduces time to establish calls, improves voice quality during calls, and allows for simultaneous use of voice calls and cellular data over 4G network.
Prior to VoLTE technology, the cellular network would drop to 3G during calls.
The IMS framework enables VoLTE to interoperate with legacy circuit-switched voice networks like 2G GSM or 3G UMTS. During VoLTE calls, when the user gets out of the LTE coverage area, Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) seamlessly handovers the MSI-based network to the legacy networks (2G or 3G).
For the service to work, both devices involved in the communication need to support and enable VoLTE and be on a network of VoLTE-supported carriers.
It’s worth noting that the term “HD voice calls” marketed by Ncell and Nepal Telecom, which simply is referring to their VoLTE services, may be different from the actual HD voice, also known as wideband audio, which is an audio codec.
HD voice is an audio codec that extends the frequency range for voice calls, improving sound reproduction quality during voice calls. It also works with 3G calling.
VoLTE is technically different than HD voice. VoLTE, as explained earlier, is a technology that enables voice calls over the LTE network, while HD voice is a codec that uses more bandwidth for voice calls.
The VoLTE service was first introduced in Nepal in May 2021 by Nepal Telecom. Ncell is the second telecom operator to launch VoLTE in Nepal.
How to activate Ncell VoLTE?
First, you have to have a smartphone that supports VoLTE. Then, you need to make sure that Ncell also supports your device. Dial *17201# to know if your device is eligible for Ncell VoLTE service.
If not supported, a prompt would tell you that the handset is not eligible. If supported, the service would be activated automatically. Make sure that you also enable the VoLTE option from the phone settings.
Currently, Ncell users will get 100 minutes of Ncell to Ncell VoLTE talk time as a bonus after activation of the VoLTE service which will be valid for 28 days.
Ncell VoLTE limitations
To take benefit of Ncell VoLTE service, the following conditions need to be met.
- Both devices involved in the call need to be compatible with VoLTE.
- Ncell needs to support both devices involved in the call.
- Both devices need to be in a 4G coverage area.
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