EE best – not only data but voice in P3 benchmark UK 2017
VoLTE HD-voice & 4G low-band are key to winning
PRESS RELEASE: The P3 connect Mobile Benchmark UK 2017 report was released by P3, the international consulting, engineering and testing services company, in October. Thanks to the world class 4G network, EE was announced as the overall winner for the fourth year in a row. More impressively, it is the first time that EE ranks No.1 in the voice test with a highest 328 points out of a maximum of 388 points.
At the eighth Global Mobile Broadband Forum (GMBBF) in London, Tom Bennett, EE Director of Network Services & Devices, noted that the key factors to win in the voice category are HD voice experience brought by Voice over LTE (VoLTE) as well as the best 4G coverage in UK, especially in rural and indoor areas, by deploying 800MHz low band this year to further enhance coverage.
VoLTE becomes an integral part of P3 test as new benchmark of mobile voice
Thanks to the fast-growing industry chain, VoLTE commercialisation has been accelerating over the years. A total of 129 commercial networks had been launched by the end of Nov. 2017, with 1313 devices supporting VoLTE. $20 VoLTE feature phones have been shipped in a large scale in India, Thailand and other countries.
In 2017, P3 voice test rules were updated so that VoLTE became the default test item and all of the smartphones were set to 4G preferred mode in the voice tests. This means mobile voice is ready for transition to VoLTE as a new industry benchmark.
VoLTE brings ultimate voice experience
EE started its massive launch of VoLTE in 2016, and has more than 4.5 million active subscribers now, which account for one third of total LTE subscribers. EE succeeded to distinctly improve voice quality and reduce call setup time; essential to winning the P3 test.
For example, EE’s call setup time was shortened to 2.7 seconds in this year’s walk test compared with 7.5 seconds last year. In the drive test, call setup time was also reduced by nearly 2 seconds. Obviously VoLTE significantly improves the user experience.
Recently EE accomplished end-to-end service tests of next generation telecom voice codec of Enhanced Voice Services (EVS) with flagship smartphones such as Huawei P10 Plus, iPhone8. This will greatly improve VIP customer’s voice experience.
4G low-band rollout to bring HD voice everywhere
This year’s P3 connect Mobile Benchmark shows that EE takes a clear lead over its competitors in smaller towns and on the roads, which represents EE’s much better and wider coverage in the UK.
Tom Bennett (pictured) said: “As a part of our strategy program for the 4G coverage, we continue to roll out 4G coverage this year outside the main cities. It isn’t just about getting it right in cities, but also getting it right in rural and suburban areas.” Currently EE provides 90% 4G geographic coverage, and aims to reach 95% by 2020.
Furthermore, EE’s deployment of the 800MHz low band plays an important role in bringing HD voice experience everywhere. Tom Bennett noted: “800MHz on our 4G network is very beneficial for getting extra reach of coverage for services in both rural areas and buildings in cities.”