UAE telecom operator du has laid out plans to launch high-definition video calling services on its 4G LTE and 5G networks by the end of 2019. The cool part? It’s not app dependent.
Du video and voice calling
This service will be called ViLTE over the 4G LTE network and “video over new radio” on 5G.
Once du gets the necessary approvals from the TRA, we can make video calls across phones as easily as voice calls. Devices that support VoLTE (voice over LTE) will soon support ViLTE.
VoLTE provides advantages such as high-definition voice, improved clarity, quick connection times and the freedom to surf the web while calling.
ViLTE is an expansion of VoLTE. It is an IP Multimedia System (IMS) based cellular data technology. In simple terms, ViLTE is network dependent.
According to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association, 257 smartphones worldwide support ViLTE. Apple’s iPhones, however, do not.
Du claims its ViLTE services will offer superior HD video and voice calling. It also says that customers will get bills based on usage as opposed to VoIP services that set a usage limit per month.
TRA and video/voice calling bans
A few years ago, the TRA banned Skype, FaceTime, Google Duo and WhatsApp voice and video calling across the UAE. Video calling services would require a UAE license or authorisation to provide VoIP services in the country.
As a result, telecom operators began working with over-the-top (OTT) apps such as Botim, YzerChat and C’me to provide mobile users video and voice calling services. A monthly fee of Dh50 or Dh100 is charged for these services.