Celcom announced it has achieved a significant milestone by initiating Malaysia’s first Voice-over 5G New Radio (VoNR) trial call. It was conducted as part of the 5G Demonstration Project and innovation trial in Langkawi to validate its end-to-end 5G voice call capability and 5G data session in parallel over a 5G Standalone (SA) network.
According to the statement, the 5G VoNR call was made between Celcom’s 5G trial sites located at Kuah and Taman Berlian in Langkawi. Utilising a cloud-native 5G SA network, the VoNR call was established directly within a 5G network without relying on 4G LTE technology. With VoNR, customers can enjoy seamless and high-definition voice calls while their phones maintain a high-speed 5G data connection for uninterrupted downloads.
Essentially, this is the successor to Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and VoNR users can remain on 5G when they receive or make a voice call. As a comparison, 4G users without VoLTE would have to switch to legacy 2G or 3G networks when they receive a phone call.
The next-generation voice call achievement is described by Celcom as a step towards realising the full potential of 5G for consumers and enterprises and it serves as a foundation for service and application innovations such as immersive video conferencing and 5G interaction for augmented and virtual reality technologies.
Celcom CEO Idham Nawawi said as Malaysia prepares for the 5G launch by the end of this year, the trials demonstrates Celcom’s continuous commitment to 5G innovation and readiness to provide high-quality 5G services. Malaysia is deploying 5G through Digital Nasional Berhad, a single-wholesale-network under the Ministry of Finance. It aims to deliver 500 5G sites by the end of this year and it targets to hit 80% 5G population coverage by 2024.