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VoLTE Standardization May Be Needed for Critical User Adoption in Europe

  By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

There are implications for Voice over LTE (News - Alert) (VoLTE) as there is increased interest in Europe about improvements to critical communications, especially among emergency providers.

For Long Term Evolution (LTE), also known as 4G LTE, to replace terrestrial trunked radio (TETRA) and its variations, there will likely need to be standardization of VoLTE. “This could happen formally or through market acceptance of vendor solutions,” explains a recent Misco analysis of a report from Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert) on “Mobile Broadband for Critical Communications in Europe.”

It is still unresolved whether LTE can function along with current dedicated networks, such as TETRA.

Overall, it is clear that users of critical communications in Europe are very interested in the LTE market, the article says. Public mobile network operators (MNOs) can take advantage of the market if they can offer the mission-critical services, Frost & Sullivan said.

It was observed that commercial MNOs may be able to provide public safety operations “shared access to their infrastructure,” the article says.

Now, emergency services use narrowband data, which fails to offer as many benefits as LTE. Emergency communication users have wanted for some time to adopt LTE. It would let them stream video and other useful services for the tasks they need to handle in emergencies.

“There are now opportunities for market participants to provide systems integration and applications development and hosting, although the resilience and advanced voice features required in the critical communications sector are as yet lacking for public mobile networks,” Misco reported.

Until complete transitions are in place, PSOs in the near future may want to use mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) for 3G/4G data as an option to LTE. As for now, PSOs are investing in infrastructure. That situation could remain for a decade or more in many of the markets, the report said.

"MNOs and LTE vendors across Europe are partnering with their counterparts in the traditional professional mobile radio space to address this specialized market," Sheridan Nye, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, said in a statement related to the study.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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