Safaricom consumers will now be able to make video calls as the mobile service provider launches new calling features on its 4G network.
The service, popularly known as Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Video over LTE (VOLTE) became available countrywide yesterday to consumers with a VoLTE-supporting 4G device and a 4G enabled SIM Card at no additional cost.
“We are proud to introduce the latest calling technology across the country which will enable Kenyans make voice and video calls over 4G,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Chief Customer Officer, Safaricom.
“Beyond crystal clear voice calls, VoLTE further empowers our customers to better connect with families, friends and at work with high-quality video calling at no extra cost,” he added.
VoLTE offers a richer calling experience and high definition calls due to the ability of 4G networks to support a higher data capacity that can carry up to three times more data per call compared to 3G networks and six times more compared to 2G.
VoLTE also eliminates background noise, jitter and other distortions that are characteristic of older networks.
Between 2014 and 2018, the contribution of voice to Safaricom’s service revenue has shrunk from 60 per cent to 36 per cent as M-Pesa and data rake in more revenues.
The launch of video and voice over LTE is part of the company’s bid to maximize on earnings since the bulk of its subscribers still use voice calls and SMS as their primary service.
Last week the company launched a reverse call feature allowing subscribers without airtime to make voice calls to others within the same network.
The service enables a caller to transfer the cost of a call to the receiver by adding ‘#’ before the number they are calling. For instance, to transfer the cost of the call to 0722000000, a customer will dial #0722000000.
Calls on VoLTE can be distinguished by the “HD Calling” symbol that will appear when a VoLTE call is in progress. Customers can also tell when they are on VoLTE by the “VoLTE” symbol in their status bars.
The company says it intends to double the number of 4G base stations across the country to more than 5,000 by the end of this year to widen the network to more of its subscribers.