VoLTE stands for Voice over Long Term Evolution. It utilizes IMS technology, making it a digital packet voice service that is delivered over Internet Protocols via an LTE access network. VoLTE is one area where operators such as Econet Wireless, NetOne and Telecel should start setting their eyes on in-order to increase revenue generation since the regular SMS and Voice calls are dropping drastically.
By Cisco Eng. Shingie Lev Muringi
Remember IMS stands for IP Multimedia Subsystem, a concept for an integrated network of telecommunications carriers that would facilitate the use of IP (Internet Protocol) for packet communications in all known forms over wireless or landlines.
Voice calls over LTE are recognized as the industry-agreed progression of voice services across mobile networks, deploying LTE radio access technology. Here in Zimbabwe, all our voice over IP numbers begin with 086 and leading VoIP such as Liquid Telecom have already started ushering in VoLTE.
Who is VoLTE valuable for?
- Network vendors;
- Partners; and
What are the benefits of VoLTE?
The implementation of VoLTE offers many benefits, both in terms of cost and operation:
- Provides a more efficient use of spectrum than traditional voice;
- Meets the rising demand for richer, more reliable services;
- Eliminates the need to have voice on one network and data on another;
- Unlocks new revenue potential, utilizing IMS as the common service platform;
- Can be deployed in parallel with video calls over LTE and RCS multimedia services, including video share, multimedia messaging, chat and file transfer;
- Ensures that video services are fully inter-operable across the operator community, just as voice services are, as demand for video calls grows;
- Increases handset battery life by 40 per cent (compared with VoIP);
- Delivers an unusually clear calling experience; and
- Provides rapid call establishment time.
What is the GSMA doing to help in relation to VoLTE?
Our goal is to achieve a consistent, industry-wide approach to delivering services for LTE. They will embody the following principles:
- Promote scale. For VoLTE/video calls over LTE implementation to work, it’s vital it’s based on a single technology and not undermined by fragmentation or diversity. It must work throughout a community of 6 billion+ connections (and growing) and across all networks and devices.
- Reduce complexity. A common implementation, adhered to by all, will let messages and media be delivered in the best way. This provides consumers with the best quality experience. However, lack of common deployments between networks can detract from the overall quality of the voice/messaging service (e.g. end-to-end HD voice).
- Enable interconnect and roaming. Seamless roaming can be optimized in the all-IP world. That is if all parties adhere to a single, common implementation of interfaces between every device and network.
These three principles will underpin the ways in which voice, SMS and RCS will work in the future. They will define the interfaces for end-to-end calling structures, which facilitate interconnect and roaming.
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