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Smile debuts voice-over-LTE in East Africa

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Smile Telecom Holdings has launched the first voice over LTE (VoLTE) service in East Africa offering high-definition voice and video calling services.
Smile intends to provide VoLTE throughout East Africa, allowing it to meet the growing data demands of enterprises as it launches attractive new services to consumers over its LTE network. The VoLTE service was launched initially in Uganda’s capital city, Kampala, as well as in Entebbe and Mukono and will later be rolled-out in the towns and cities of Jinja, Mbale, Soroti, Tororo, Lira, Gulu, Masindi, Kasese, Fort Portal, Kabale, Mbarara and Masaka.
Smile launched LTE services in East Africa using network technology from Alcatel-Lucent, its long-term technology collaborator. The VoLTE service uses Smile’s own IMS technology and Alcatel-Lucent has conducted network integration, project management and testing activities to prepare the network for this launch – one of the first of its kind in Africa.
Smile aims to offer high-definition voice in each of the country’s in which it operates, enhancing the subscriber experience and paving the way for the delivery of new differentiated consumer services.
Tom Allen, chief operating officer of Smile, says: “Smile chooses to associate with technology partners that are not only known for delivering world class networks but whom are masters at the game and deployment that we want to do at a certain time and place. Alcatel-Lucent has proven themselves to be such a technology partner.  I am happy to say that they have been a key part of our success in East Africa and with the VoLTE rollout.”
Daniel Jaeger, vice-president of Alcatel-Lucent activities in Africa, says: “Network transformation to ultra-broadband continues apace in Africa. Universal access is vital to promote ICT and reduce the digital divide. Alcatel-Lucent is supporting the integration of Smile’s own IMS to ensure a converged network architecture that delivers new subscriber features in a cost-effective way.  Smile aims to provide the best customer experience and with VoLTE it can do this, offering affordable high-speed high-quality voice and data services.”