MTS AND SAMSUNG LAUNCH WI-FI CALLING
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Moscow, Russian Federation – Mobile TeleSystems PJSC (“MTS” or "the Company" – NYSE: MBT; MOEX: MTSS), the leading telecommunications provider in Russia and the CIS, and Samsung Electronics, the global consumer electronics and IT company, announce the launch of Wi-Fi calling in Russia enabling subscribers to make voice calls wherever there is a Wi-Fi connection (Voice over Wi-Fi).
Voice calls using the Wi-Fi calling technology do not require customers to install any applications. Once customers enable the Wi-Fi calling option on their smartphone, voice calls will be automatically redirected to the Voice over Wi-Fi format, with the Wi-Fi connection acting as a base station for the customer. The key difference from existing OTT services is that a voice call is still processed using a mobile operator’s network and for the subscriber it appears as an ordinary call from one mobile number to another.
Wi-Fi Calling technology enables users to make calls from locations that may be less well served by traditional cellular networks but where there is a stable Wi-Fi connection. The service is priced under current tariff plans as an ordinary call.
The service will launch in Moscow and the Moscow Region first and will be available initially to Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge users. The service will then be rolled out over wider geographical coverage and an increasing range of devices over the course of 2017.
Commenting on the launch of Wi-Fi Calling, MTS Vice President for Strategy and Marketing, Vasyl Latsanych, said: “Wi-Fi Calling represents a new step in the development of telecoms infrastructure. This is one of the most promising technological solutions aimed at enhancing network quality and expanding the coverage of mobile services for subscribers. The technology means that every Wi-Fi connection point can act as one of our base stations. It enables us to provide our clients with high-quality services even in places without access to a cellular network, without costly investments in improving indoor coverage. MTS is pleased to be the first operator to launch Wi-Fi Calling in Russia and the timing is not accidental. We have closely examined the roll-out of Wi-Fi calling by our foreign partners, and as one of the most innovative global companies, we strived to be the first to provide this kind of service for our clients in Russia. Samsung was deliberately chosen as our partner to introduce Wi-Fi Calling as Samsung smartphones are traditionally among the most popular in Russia, so we are confident that this new service will be in high demand.”
“Samsung Electronics’ mission is to create advanced products and services. We welcome the launch of innovative Wi-Fi Calling technology by our long-standing partner – MTS. Through this service, users of our flagship devices, Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, will be able to appreciate the high quality of the Wi-Fi modules installed in their smartphones for yet another purpose. In fact, it utilizes the same high-speed internet access but is aimed at solving a different problem – providing voice services in places where a traditional cellular network is not accessible for a variety of reasons,” – commented the Head of Samsung Mobile in Russia, Arkady Graf.