EE is looking to bolster its rural call coverage, launching live trials of call services over Wi-Fi and 4G as part of a £275 million investment in the network's voice capabilities.
Using an EE phone's native dialler, customers will be able to use the VoIP service to call when connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot or router, without the need for a separate VoIP app. SMS services too will make use of the new Wi-Fi option where appropriate. Following the trial, the Wi-Fi calling service will rull out to all handsets that support the feature in the Autumn.
The network is also expanding its 4G data and voice coverage in a VoLTE 4G call services trial in Oxfordshire, using the 800MHz spectrum acquired in last year's auction. Offering HD voice options, EE expects 4G voice services to be crucial in patching up rural blackspots, with the network hoping commercially launch the feature in 2015 once it's network has achieved 90 per cent population coverage. [EE]