VoLTE revenues fall by 9% quarter-on-quarter

17 September 2018 | Natalie Bannerman

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New data from a report published by Dell’Oro Group, a source for market information on telecommunications, found that revenue for  voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) declined 9% quarter-on-quarter.

Other findings showed that Nokia, Huawei and Ericsson accounted for over 70% of the VoLTE market, with the revenues of these three growing quarter-quarter increasing their combined market share. The report doesn’t mention the revenue share of Samsung and ZTE.

"With end-to-end solutions, Nokia, Huawei, and Ericsson grew quarter-over-quarter increasing their combined market share and leaving little room for other vendors," said David Bolan, senior analyst at Dell'Oro Group. "The VoLTE market would have increased quarter-over-quarter in 2Q 2018 if the US ban on ZTE had not been in effect. For 2018 the market is expected to be slightly below 2017, but will return to growth in 2019.”

According to findings the fundamentals of the VoLTE market remains positive and continues to grow. In mature LTE markets, the report found that was beginning to approach a 100% subscription rate. Verizon is close to reaching this point when it turns off their CDMA network at the end of 2019.

In less mature markets dominated by pre-paid customers with feature phones VoLTE were found to be out of the reach of subscribers – but with market players like Reliance Jio entering the Indian market and introducing a low cost VoLTE feature phone targeting the low cost pre-paid market this is all-changing.

The VoLTE market is expected to be slightly lower in 2018 compared to 2017 but it will return to growth in 2019 as 233 mobile operators are investing in VoLTE-related initiatives in 102 countries.

In addition, users on 164 LTE service is available to LTE/LTE Advanced networks representing 24% of all 6868 commercially launched LTE networks. The number of mobile operators offering VoLTE services is a third higher that in August 2017, at which point was 20% of 615 LTE operators, offered VoLTE services.

At the start of the year Ericsson was selected by Eastlink as it core supplier of VoLTE services in Canada. The decision will allow the Canadian telecom operator to provide enhanced and more resilient services, as well as laying the foundation for Wi-Fi calling and future 5G services.