Reinvigorating international voice through VoLTE

17 September 2015 | Divya Wakankar

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Divya Wakankar

Blog Author | BICS; Head of innovation and LTE product management


In early adopter markets VoLTE services have revolutionised the quality of voice services with end users enjoying reliable and crystal clear calls, driving overall usage. In these countries, and further afield, forward thinking operators are now looking to expand the value gained from their investment in IMS by offering ubiquitous advanced communications to users, wherever they are.

In early adopter markets VoLTE services have revolutionised the quality of voice services with end users enjoying reliable and crystal clear calls, driving overall usage. 

In these countries, and further afield, forward thinking operators are now looking to expand the value gained from their investment in IMS by offering ubiquitous advanced communications to users, wherever they are.

VoLTE is now accepted as the highest quality HD voice service available. It offers low-frequency LTE spectrum usage and enables network efficiency and reduced operational expenditure for the mobile operators, in addition to improving user experience. 

According to the latest GSMA figures, around 30 operators around the world now have live VoLTE deployments in place, with test networks in place in several other destinations.

The mass public adoption of IP-based next generation services such as LTE shows there is a great appetite for services offering improved connectivity, with customers rapidly increasing their usage as higher quality services become available – both domestically and when roaming. 

Those operators that have already launched IMS-based voice services have experienced a similar usage boost to domestic traffic and are now looking to expand the geographical range of VoLTE. 

To meet this demand, providers must overcome a number of technical challenges to ensure international VoLTE services offer the same levels of service delivered domestically. 

Provision of low latency end-to-end connectivity is reliant on the availability of intelligent routing, commercial transparency, protocol normalisation and effective media transcoding. 

Using a hubbing model, operators can easily resolve these issues and quickly enable traffic to destinations around the world where VoLTE services are also available.

Following wide-ranging trials, the interworking aspect has now been successfully developed and can be accessed by operators with the ability to deliver domestic services already in place, in addition to commercial agreements with partner operators or a hubbing provider. 

To extend this advanced communication offering to users while roaming, operators can adopt VoLTE roaming solutions using: Local Break with Home, Visited Based Routing or S8 Home Routing. 

This new interworking protocol offers users a high quality, low latency connection backed up by VoLTE bridging call techniques that allow continuity across disparate access technologies either through handover to VoWifi or circuit switched voice. 

This offers huge advantages in comparison to general VoIP services which lack the background infrastructure to continue a call when an end-to-end data connection is not available.

The success of VoLTE interworking trials prove now is the right time for MNOs to embrace IMS technology to provide seamless, ubiquitous enhanced communication to users at home and while roaming. 

Once domestic services become more widely available the number of destinations for the highest quality calls will dramatically rise, offering users access to truly worldwide next generation voice – increasing voice usage and reinvigorating the voice market.