China Mobile and South Korea’s KT Corp claimed a ‘world first’ by demonstrating 5G Voice-over-New Radio (VoNR) international roaming with ‘VoNR+’ call services at the China-Japan-Korea Tripartite Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement (SCFA) Summit. China Mobile and KT connected their respective commercial 5G Standalone (SA) networks via IPX and 5G base stations at conference venues in Beijing and Seoul facilitating high-definition video roaming calls based on in-development VoNR+ specifications.

To support migration ‘from audio-visual communications to full-sensory communications’, China Mobile Research Institute has proposed the VoNR+ architecture based on the 3GPP IMS data channel standard, aiming to give users a ‘richer, interactive and high-definition video service experience.’ According to the group: ‘VoNR+ will bring enhancements to real-time communications at all fronts, transforming the communication from high-definition video calls to zero-trust and fully interactive real-time communications. Mobile devices will also expand from smartphones to a wide range of equipment such as wearable devices, appliances, automobiles, robots and more.’

VoNR+ supports various new 5G voice service scenarios, with China Mobile demonstrating the following examples:

  • Intelligent translation service featuring real-time communication between users of different languages
  • 5G video customer service supporting users to manage activities through visual menus
  • AR remote guidance service together with AR annotation functions in video calls ‘enabling industry users to improve service efficiency’
  • ‘fun call’ features enabling virtual avatar changes, animated gesture effects and emoji functions during video calls.

China Mobile introduced its commercial VoNR services (‘5G New Calling’) for Chinese smartphone users in April 2022, following extensive research, development and piloting in 2021.

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