China Mobile plans to roll out commercial voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) service in more than 260 cities by the middle of next year, China Mobile president Li Yue said.
Speaking at the operator’s global partner conference, Li said it will continue to upgrade its 4G network by deploying more than 100,000 4G carrier aggregation (CA) base stations in 2016, C114.net reported.
At the event, China Mobile announced the VoLTE & CA public programme, which it started with MTK, Qualcomm and Spreadtrum. The programme is aimed at reducing the technical barriers of VoLTE and CA products, driving the popularisation of VoLTE and improving the cost performance of VoLTE and CA mobile phones.
The VoLTE & CA initiative includes more than six chip platforms, 19 solution providers, more than 30 design schemes and an expected 50 terminal devices. China Mobile will handle planning, marketing and quality control and will release its own brand mobile phones. The chip vendors will provide R&D funds and technical support.
The operator is aiming for the price of VoLTE phones to reach as low as CNY299-399 ($46.60-$60) and VoLTE/CA models to cost CNY999, C114.net said.
Last month China Mobile launched pre-commercial VoLTE service in Beijing, which has nearly 10 million 4G subscribers.