VoLTE gains momentum among telecom vendors, what about operators?

Telecom Lead @ Mobile World Congress 2013: VoLTE (voice over LTE) is gaining momentum among telecom vendors; what about wireless operators?

Day 1 at Mobile World Congress 2013 saw several announcements — related to VoLTE — from top telecom equipment makers. Telecom solutions providers are trying to attract top mobile operators to launch VoLTE and keep the 4G kites flying.

ST-Ericsson and Ericsson have demonstrated the world’s first dual mode high definition VoLTE connection between LTE FDD and LTE TDD (TD- LTE) with China Mobile at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Meanwhile, SPIRIT DSP, a voice and video over IP engines provider serving more than 1 billion users in 100+ countries, announced a new version of its VVoIP software SDK. TeamSpirit Voice&Video Engine Mobile 4.0 is compliant with the RCS 5.1 specification, the last version of the GSMA-driven standard for carriers’ IP services, which allows telcos together with developers to bring high-quality IMS voice and video calling functionality to their RCS-compliant services, applications and devices.

ZyXEL Communications, a supplier of solutions for telecoms service providers, SMBs and home users, demonstrated wireless mobile solutions, including 4G LTE CPEs supporting Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE), Femtocell and Wi-Fi hotspots, as well as a modular 4G LTE multi-WAN wireless gateway.

Uptake of LTE is accelerating across the globe. According to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), 145 operators launched LTE-enabled commercial services in 66 countries by the end of last year. It forecasts that 234 LTE networks will be commercially available in 83 countries in 2013. The number of LTE subscriptions has increased almost tenfold, reaching 44 million subscribers by September 2012.

(source: sammyhub)

Ericsson is supporting Telefónica’s live demonstrations in Barcelona of several complex technologies and behaviors: 4G handover to Wi-Fi, voice over LTE (VoLTE), and integration across several vendors and technology standards.

“This really proves our commitment to our customer, where Telefónica is one of the world’s largest operators with a strategy to meet the growing demands of their subscribers,” said Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg.

Aricent group announced the addition of VoLTE capabilities to its LTE offering comprising IMS client Application, eNodeB, EPC, and IMS Servers. Aricent VoLTE Client is available on leading Android smartphones and is compliant to GSMA IR92 standard.

Recently, Chris DePuy, Analyst of Wireless Packet Core at Dell’Oro Group, said: “While we expect more EPC contracts to be awarded, much of the vendor landscape for LTE-focused networks has been settled. In the near future, we expect that important market transitions providing new opportunity for vendors will involve Software Defined Networking and virtualized computing architectures, consolidation of WiFi traffic to service packet core networks, and LTE network optimization to deliver VoLTE.”

Renesas Mobile, a supplier of cellular semiconductor solutions and platforms and Ericsson, demonstrated the world’s first inter-mode Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) call using pre-commercial devices from a leading manufacturer.

The next step in the evolution of VoLTE, this demonstration, held in conjunction with leading Chinese operator China Mobile, illustrates Renesas Mobile and Ericsson’s commitment to ensure the seamless operation of VoLTE across different networks.

Mats H Olsson, president of Ericsson North East Asia, said: “The technology readiness and commercial availability of the system, platform and terminals of TD-LTE that we demonstrated here is a strong testimonial of the maturity of a converged end-to-end TD-LTE ecosystem.”

VoLTE uses IP packet-based network for voice call, it transmits voice into data to carry out transmission, which enables a richer telephony experience and high definition audio in combination with low power consumption.

According to GSA (Jan 2013), 61 mobile networks have launched HD voice services in 45 countries. And there is a strong business case for Mobile HD Voice.

Customers make more, or longer, call with HD Voice, and highly value the service. HD Voice helps operators to clearly differentiate their offerings and enable high quality services to voice dependent business like call centers, information and emergency services.

Arvind Krishna
editor@telecomlead.com