RIL wants to add voice to 4G LTE services, approaches DoT

Telecom Lead India: Reliance Industries-promoted Infotel Broadband has approached the Department of Telecommunications for allocating telephone number series to test Voice over LTE technology on its TD-LTE network.

According to Ovum, over-the-top (OTT) VoIP services will not replace traditional telephony, while they will have a marked impact on telecom operators’ revenues over the next eight years. OTT VoIP will cost the global telecoms industry $479 billion in lost cumulative revenues by 2020, which represents 6.9 percent of cumulative total voice revenues.

As per the National Telecom Policy 2012, VoIP will be opened up in India. earlier reported that the opening up of VoIP will be a big boost for RIL as it will look at launching 4G offering both data and voice services. There will be no need to buy an existing telecom operator to become a full mobile service provider.

Recently,  Huawei announed the launch of LTE smartphones in India. The Chinese telecom equipment maker is also planning to unveil 4G tablet in the country next year. RIL is in talks with Huawei and other 4G smartphone players like Samsung.

The opening up of VoIP in India is expected to benefit consumers and with pan-India license and spectrum Reliance industries will be in commanding position in the space.

Analysts earlier said RIL’s LTE with data and voice will become a compelling combination for bandwidth hungry customers in India. Globally VoIP is a popular medium, but India is a late comer. Presently, Indian government allows VoIP calls to a telephone under strict conditions.

RIL said it is ready for trial runs of a technology that will enable voice calls service on its wireless broadband network. The VoLTE launch will assist RIL to expand business and it will become another strong revenue stream for RIL.

Top three VoLTE (Voice over LTE) vendors in first quarter of 2012 are Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks. With approval of complete VoIP, these companies will see a great business opportunity in the Indian market.

Meanwhile, the US and Asia are leading the voice over LTE market. Verizon Wireless, Metro PCS, SK Telecom and LG U+ are planning to launch VoLTE services this year.
South Korea and Hong Kong have already launched LTE data roaming and by August, SK Telecom expects to have the Samsung Galaxy S3, the first handset to support VoLTE on their network.

“By 2016 VoLTE will make up about 14 percent of global mobile VoIP revenue, while over-the-top mobile VoIP continues to make up the lion’s share by far,” said Stephane Teral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research.

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