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EE trialling voice calls over WiFi and 4G LTE to reach the UK’s remotest areas

EE has started trialling new voice call technology that will allow its customers to make voice calls to contacts over WiFi and 4G for the first time thus giving users in hard-to-reach areas more chance to keep in contract with their nearest and dearest.

Related: EE launch superfast 4G network in rural Cumbria

The new technology, which forms part of £275 million worth of investment in phone calls in 2014, involves using a wireless connection in either the home or office and is in addition to a VoLTE 4G calling trial that will bring even more coverage to rural areas.

“This is a major part of our strategy to invest in giving customers the ability to make a call wherever they are, and we’re confident that this service can make a big difference to people in homes and large offices across the country, especially in the most rural areas, that don’t have mobile coverage,” said Fotis Karonis, CTO at EE.

EE’s service will let users make calls through the phone’s native dialler with no need for an extra app and SMS services will also be available through the WiFi calling service, which will launch at some point in the autumn of this year.

Those in rural areas will be more taken by the plans by EE to launch VoLTE technology on a low frequency part of the spectrum that was acquired in a recent auction.

The trial will take place in a previously unconnected part of Oxfordshire and uses the 800MHz part of the spectrum that has a better reach than the 1800MHz spectrum that most users gain reception from, and a full launch will take place in 2015.

Another part of the multi-million pound investment in phone calls involves three different initiatives that will benefit every one of its customers. One of the initiatives involves adding technology to the MyEE app that works out when a device hits a whitespot in service and lets EE know.

Secondly it is aiming to halve its dropped call rate nationwide in 2014 and lastly it is rolling out the Platinum Project, which aims to give a zero defect phone call experience to customers in the busiest parts of the country.