South Korean mobile operators SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus have signed a deal that will open the way to full commercialization of VoLTE services, according to a report. The three major operators started talks on inter-carrier service fees and a payment system three years ago. South Korean customers can currently make on-net VoLTE calls. VoLTE cross-carrier services are now scheduled for launch on 20 November. SK Telecom plans to introduce a “smart call transfer service” that allows users to make and receive calls with their computer using VoLTE. KT will use it in their GiGa LTE, Olleh Pop-up Call, and in Who Who, a service that blocks robocalls and texts. LG UPlus will use VoLTE technology in its Yoowa platform.
Voice over LTE service has been growing in many markets, particularly the developed ones. VoLTE has been available in South Korea for three years, but even in this mobile market, one the most highly developed in the world, the high-quality voice service cannot truly thrive without interoperability. With only on-net calls, VoLTE will not be able to realize its potential, either from an operational or a market point of view. Cross-carrier services in South Korea have been a long time coming, but with the deal signed, the technology can finally become an integral part of the mobile landscape. The fees the operators have agreed to pay will, we believe, be amply justified by the revenues that full utilization of VoLTE will bring in.