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RCS VoLTE Featured Article

What is RCS VoLTE?

  By Rachel Ramsey, TMCnet Web Editor
 


RCS VoLTE stands for Rich Communications Suite (RCS) Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE). RCS is the next wave in personal mobile communications. For consumers, it will deliver an experience beyond voice and SMS by providing them with instant messaging or chat, live video sharing and file transfer across any device, on any network, with anyone. For operators, RCS offers new ways to use existing assets and capabilities to deliver high-quality and innovative communications services.


The target market segments for RCS are consumers who wish to stay in touch with friends and family and capture and exchange rich media with them as events happen, and business users who need to exchange multimedia documents and work collaboratively with colleagues, as well as stay connected with friends and family.

RCS is not just a suite of services - it is a platform for all future communications in an IP world. VoLTE and RCS will share the same IMS investment. The intrinsic capability of IMS means that it enables the key differentiators of future Voice and Messaging services for operators.

LTE (News - Alert) is a standard for delivering voice and messaging services for LTE networks developed by the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSMA). VoLTE is being deployed globally by more than 200 wireless operators as the voice and messaging standard to complement their rollout of LTE networks.

VoLTE voice technology is different from previous generations of voice technology in that VoLTE treats voice as data using an Internet protocol (IP) multimedia subsystem standard. In short, this means voice communications are managed in the same way your Internet data is managed whereas previously voice communications were managed as a separate signal from your internet data. Previous cellular networks, such as 2G and 3G, were designed mainly to carry voice calls--services added cellular data support later through methods that basically "tunneled" data inside of voice-call connections. LTE turns the network around and uses Internet protocol packets for all communications. As such, it doesn't support traditional voice-call technology, so a new protocol and applications for Voice over LTE are needed.

VoLTE is attractive for multiple reasons. One is that voice as a data app is much more efficient than voice connections over old "circuit-switched" technology, so VoLTE would allow service providers to improve their internal operations significantly. And by moving voice traffic off older networks, service providers could theoretically "refarm" the old cellular spectrum and use it for more 4G-based networks.

RCS and VoLTE are bringing true standard and interoperable advanced communication capabilities, and operators are seizing the opportunity to leverage these technologies to bring new levels of services to the hosted unified communication market. Enterprises, seeking UC solutions that enable reliable, roam-able, always-on, anywhere, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) rich communication capabilities, turn to IMS/VoLTE RCS enabled UC solutions to meet the challenge.

An Infonetics Research report forecasts there will be 15 million RCS, RCS-e, and RCS-like service subscribers by 2013, with the majority in Asia and Western Europe. Infonetics (News - Alert) also expects mobile operators around the world to take in a cumulative $1.6 billion over the five years from 2012 to 2016 from RCS service fees, and RCS will rise in popularity in North America as operators launch VoLTE services A, with RCS tied to VoLTE as a core part of the service, but operators are not expected to charge directly for RCS capabilities in North America.




Edited by Rachel Ramsey


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