Alcatel-Lucent and Asia Pacific Telecom (APT), one of Taiwan’s leading telecommunications service providers, announced plans to build an LTE overlay network that will enable APT to be the first service provider in Taiwan to offer Voice over LTE (VoLTE).

Taiwan has become a significant player in the ultra-broadband market with both fixed and mobile access predicted by research carried out by Pyramid Researchto reach $13.6 billion by 2018 through a nationwide fiber-optic network rollout and LTE launch. LTE subscriptions in Taiwan, in particular are expected to reach 14.8 million by 2018, representing 40.3 percent of the total number of people in Taiwan with mobile devices.

Initial deployment of APT’s LTE network and VoLTE service will take place in the first part of 2014 in the North, Central and South areas of Taiwan, with APT aiming to complete the deployment by the end this year.

Tony Zee, CTO of APT said: “While other service providers in Taiwan hold VoLTE licenses, APT is the first to announce actual deployment plans. Not only will our customers have the best quality of voice, but they will also be able to seamlessly and simultaneously access data as well while having voice conversations over their devices. Our new LTE network and VoLTE service are perfectly aligned with APT’s vision enabling simultaneous conversation experiences over any device, webpage and application whether it be voice, video or data.”

Ken Wu, President and Managing Director of Alcatel-Lucent Taiwan said: “Alcatel-Lucent and APT have a long history of working side-by-side. Knowing APT’s network and the exciting new services they plan to offer mobile broadband subscribers has allowed us to collaborate on this extensive project since the national 4G auction plan was released in February of 2013. We are looking forward to helping APT quickly enhance the wireless broadband experiences of its customers in Taiwan.”