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Mobile voice calls to be available over Three’s 4G network for the first time

Thursday, April 23rd 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Three customers will be able to make voice calls over 4G from September.

At the moment, calls on the network are carried over 3G, with 4G used to run data services.

But from the autumn, a boost to Three’s network will allow its customers to make calls over 4G – a system known as Voice over LTE (or VoLTE).

According to an announcement on Three’s blog, customers will “be able to make and receive calls in places they’ve never been able to before. Call quality on 4G will also be of a very high quality”.

The improvement to the network is expected to benefit 1m Three customers this year and 7.5m by 2016.

“With average 4G speeds of 17.8Mbps and 3.5m customers benefitting from 4G at no extra cost, we’re really excited to be able to bring an even better network experience to you guys later in the year,” said the blog post.

“And while we’re on stats, fact fans, did you know that way back in 2007 our customers’ average data use was a measly 18MB a month. Fast forward to 2015 they use an average of 3.4GB a month. Wowsers.”

Three announced last week it was extending its Feel at Home service, which allows customers to use their mobile call, text and data allowances abroad for no extra cost.

The service is now available in Spain and New Zealand as well as 16 other countries.

'Happier than ever'

The expansion of its 4G network helped Three add 478,000 customers last year. 42% of Three’s 8.4m customers use 4G.

Speaking as Three announced a 6% growth in customer base earlier this year, CEO Dave Dyson said: “By listening to our customers and focusing on their needs, our customers are happier than ever.

“Their positive word of mouth is helping to attract more customers to Three.

“We will continue to enhance our network and provide the plans and offers to help customers stay connected in more places both in the UK and overseas.”

Chief financial officer Richard Woodward added: “Our 2014 financial results demonstrate the successful execution of our strategy.

“New and existing customers are increasingly attracted to Three for our quality data network and offers like Feel At Home, which also means they are choosing to spend more and stay longer because of the value they receive.

“Our focus has been, and will continue to be, on giving our customers the best and fairest mobile experience available to support our financial growth.”

Vodafone and EE have both announced they are trialling VoLTE ahead of a commercial rollout of the service later this year.

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