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Catalyzing success at LG Uplus with HD voice and video

2016-07-28 By Wang Qi

HD VoLTE for diversity and loyalty

LG Uplus is positioning ubiquitous HD voice and video at the heart of its competitiveness in Seoul, one of the most densely populated cities in the world with more than 10.5 million people spread over 11,704 square kilometers. Currently, the 4G VoLTE services offered by the Korean telco include HD voice with reduced call setup delay. Unlike most 4G subscribers in Korea who need to switch to 3G to make a call, LG Uplus subscribers enjoy high-speed data services when they use its voice service. LG Uplus optimizes LTE network coverage with low-frequency 850 MHz and CoMP alongside other cutting-edge tech to deliver an optimal VoLTE service experience. 

The 2015 Open Signal report indicates that LG Uplus’ LTE network coverage leads the competition at 99 percent, which LG Uplus complements with its improved VoLTE MOS, hitting above 4.0 in about 90 percent of its covered areas to realize ubiquitous HD voice. 

As part of its diverse service range, LG Uplus launched its VoLTE rich interactive media service UWA, letting subscribers access video, music, web pages, picture, location, and other real-time services during phone calls – the average call by UWA subscribers is twice as long as that of non-UWA subscribers, and data traffic 2.5 times as high. 

By April 2015, LG Uplus had successfully attracted 7 million VoLTE subscribers, 77 percent of its total 4G subscribers. According to the Investor Presentation it released in May 2015, the telco’s churn rate is at a record low, and the lowest of all three major local operators, testifying to VoLTE’s power to give a better user experience, richer services, and higher subscriber loyalty.

Forging ahead with HD video 

Statistics from the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (MSIP) show that each LTE subscriber in Korea was using on average 3.4 GB at the end of Q1 2015. This rises to 4 GB for LG Uplus subscribers, and doubles to 8 GB for the telco’s U+HDTV subscribers. Revenues have risen in tandem, with ARPU increasing by 4.5 percent year-on-year since Q1 2012 to become the highest of all operators’ by the end of 2014. Mobile HD video services are the main driving force behind such tremendous growth.

Mobile video is a basic LTE service, and the cornerstone of big hitters like Vodafone, Verizon, and China Mobile. LG Uplus is undoubtedly one of the most successful operators in this regard, having developed video apps with some pre-installed on devices, acquired content sources, and cultivated subscriber habits. The LG Uplus service Uflix Movie offers 18,000-plus HD movies for a truly private and mighty mobile cinematic experience. Its IPTV offering U+ HDTV leads the field with over 7.4 million subscribers – 14.6 percent of the nation’s 50.6 million people.

LG Uplus ensures that its network is sufficiently robust to support HD video services. Tests on its LG Uplus network showed a download rate of 118 Mbps and initial buffering of an HD 1080P video of less than a quarter of a second – exactly the type of experience LG Uplus wants to give its subscribers. And that’s why LG Uplus is working with Huawei to formulate vMOS standards that can precisely evaluate video service experience. 

In reward, LG Uplus has increased subscriber numbers, ARPU, and awards. Providing subscribers with a superior HD voice and video service experience is at the core of the telco’s strategy, and is paving its evolution to 4.5G. 

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