Vodafone Australia, a subsidiary of Vodafone Group Public Limited Company (VOD - Analyst Report) , has announced its partnership with Ericsson (ERIC - Analyst Report) to enhance its entire core network, in order to progress on its voice over LTE (VoLTE) plans. The company is now in a five-year pact with Ericsson to completely upgrade Vodafone Australia's core network.
Vodafone will deploy Ericsson's evolved packet core (EPC) and IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) equipment along with its policy control and circuit-switched core solutions. Ericsson will also provide integration services to Vodafone. This will help Vodafone to switch on to the VoLTE network, thus giving it a competitive advantage over its peers.
Apart from facilitating HD voice, VoLTE also allows Vodafone customers to maintain data connectivity during a phone call. The network will also support a raft of carrier-grade IP services, including video calling, messaging and file sharing.
Vodafone is accelerating its 4G expansion and presently covers 13 countries across both Europe and AMAP with 2 million customers. On Feb 18, 2014, the company also announced that it will roll out the world’s largest 4G roaming network in the near term across 18 countries. The company currently offers roaming on its own networks in Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain and expects to launch 4G roaming soon in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, and the U.K. Vodafone also has plans to collaborate with other telecom companies for 4G roaming in Austria, Belgium, France, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Switzerland.
Vodafone currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some notable telecom stocks are Chunghwa Telecom Co., Ltd. (CHT - Analyst Report) and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT - Snapshot Report) , both with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).