With the explosion of data services due to smartphones and tablets, operators are quickly moving to 4G LTE as a way to cope with demand and to remain competitive. Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) is coming along for the ride in a big way.
Globally, VoLTE is growing at a compound annual growth rate of more than 300 percent, according to a recent Technavio report, and this velocity is expected to continue through 2016.
With the growing popularity of unified communications and over-the-top services, such as Skype (News - Alert), eating into the revenue of cellular carriers, VoLTE promises to be a source of competitive advantage, as carriers can better mix voice and other rich communications. Further, VoLTE can reduce costs for operators while boosting quality and freeing up spectrum for more data traffic.
Some of the carriers leading the charge include LG Uplus Corp., MetroPCS, SK Telecom Co. Ltd., and StarHub Ltd., with VoLTE infrastructure providers Alcatel-Lucent S.A., Ericsson A.B., Huawei (News - Alert) Technologies Co. Ltd, and Nokia Siemens Networks B.V. moving fast to deliver solutions to the budding segment.
Nokia Siemens Network, for instance, just announced that it has successfully carried out comprehensive tests on its virtualized Telco Cloud core network to ensure that the system is ready to support end-to-end VoLTE deployment.
The test program tackled current deployment barriers by implementing comprehensive end-to-end verification of VoLTE call cases to ensure feature parity with customers’ current 2G/3G circuit-switched voice services, Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) functionality, and the reuse of existing billing, lawful interception and intelligent network interfaces, according to the company.
The test program verified the automated deployment and elastic scaling of virtualized network elements, live migration of virtual machines from one server to another and the recovery from hardware failures using industry-standard virtualization, cloud management infrastructure and commercial off-the-shelf IT server hardware.
All the cloud test cases were enabled and supported by the existing Nokia (News - Alert) Siemens Networks Operations Support Systems (OSS) portfolio and a cloud application management system which controls the VoLTE core applications in an operator’s private Telco Cloud.
“Nokia Siemens (News - Alert) Networks has achieved an important milestone in making the Telco Cloud a commercial reality for mobile broadband operators,” said Michael Clever, vice president of Voice and IP Transformation at Nokia Siemens Networks (News - Alert). “We are strongly committed to bringing our core network solutions to life in the Telco Cloud.”
VoLTE could hardly come soon enough for operators.
Edited by Blaise McNamee