Published on July 7, 2014
VoLTE—The voice of the future
There’s a revolution happening right now. The way people use their cell phones has radically changed. Handhelds have become handy for a whole bunch of functions: calling, instant messaging, mobile gaming, Internet browsing, taking and uploading pictures, watching or recording videos, etc. In other words people use cell phones to stay ever connected in the shrinking world of here and now.
And people still need to talk. In fact people are talking more over the phone and over longer distances. It is therefore no surprise that mobile voice bandwidth is on the rise, big time. Mobile data bandwidth is expected to increase fivefold in the next three years.
In order to be able to deliver the goods and meet the ever increasing quality standards of customers, voice-over-LTE is already being rolled out into live network trials. Massive deployments have already begun across the globe.
Deploying VoLTE makes a lot of business sense in the medium and long terms for the following important reasons:
Infrastructure cost reduction
Operating one packet-switched (PS) network for data and voice is cheaper than operating two separate networks (Circuit-switched (CS) networks traditionally handle voice, while packet-switched networks handle data in the form of packets).
Investment in VoLTE is driven by the growth of 4G LTE data traffic. Over time as networks upgrade to LTE, legacy CS networks will be displaced.
LTE Spectral efficiency
LTE is also intrinsically more efficient. It is in fact three to ten times more efficient at transferring data over a given bandwidth than 2G or 3G radio technologies. This means that once the 2G/3G spectrum is no longer needed for CS voice, it can be reallocated for LTE data services – furthering the virtuous circle of efficiency gains and cost reductions.
Customers constantly expect more from their cell phones. The ability to deliver the latest technology is a survival prerequisite for mobile network operators.
VoLTE deployment is a critical stepping stone to offering competitive, new all-IP services. HD voice and video calling demand much more bandwidth than traditional 2G/3G CS voice, and are greatly facilitated by the move to high-bandwidth PS networks. Furthermore, once the VoLTE infrastructure is in place, it’s an easy step to the rich communications suite of services, i.e. integrated social presence, shared directories, instant messaging and chat, live-session video and file sharing, and much more.
From whatever angle you look at it, there is no stopping the era of VoLTE. There is no silencing the voice of the future.
To learn more about VoLTE and the technologies that underlie successful VoLTE service rollouts, download EXFO’s white paper—VoLTE: Mobile Voice Goes Packet-Based.