Deutsche Telekom teamed with fellow industry heavyweights to complete what it claimed was the world’s first 5G Voice over New Radio (VoNR) call on a multi-vendor network, an important step towards commercialising advanced audio services beyond today’s VoLTE services.

The German operator said it worked with vendors Nokia and Ericsson, chipmaker Qualcomm and device manufacturers Samsung and Xiaomi to complete the call in a trial conducted in Polish capital city Warsaw.

Their research also verified the capability of voice over a standalone (SA) 5G network in parallel with data transmission.

Deutsche Telekom explained cloud-native SA 5G networks will enable operators to deliver better-quality voice services without relying on LTE (VoLTE) as an anchor.

VoNR technology is expected to play a major role in audio use cases spanning video conferencing, AR and VR.

Alex Choi, Deutsche Telekom SVP of strategy and technology innovation, believes high quality and seamless voice calling are a “must-have” in the 5G era.

“The addition of 5G VoNR can be a differentiator for next-generation immersive applications that integrate high speed 5G data with high definition audio,” he added.

For the trial, Ericsson provided the integrated 5G core and Nokia the IP multimedia system. Xiaomi and Samsung devices were used, while Qualcomm delivered the mobile test platform.