Aslam Hasan, VoLTE/HD Consulting Program Manager, AT&T Mobility

Aslam Hasan, VoLTE/HD Consulting Program Manager, AT&T Mobility

What is the current status of VoLTE deployments globally and how do operators see this long awaited service impacting the market? To find out I spoke to LTE MENA speaker and VoLTE/HD Consulting Program Manager for AT&T Mobility, Aslam Hasan.

“VoLTE deployments are now picking up around the globe” he said “and South East Asia is leading the way. Countries like Korea and Japan have had VoLTE deployed for almost a year; whereas in North America all the major carriers introduced the service in summer last year. Carriers in Latin and South America are still yet to announce the introduction of the service. However, with the launch of iPhone 6 and more VoLTE devices we will be expecting more deployments this year and beyond in almost all regions.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Luiz Felipe Barros, Brazil Country Manager, Viber

Luiz Felipe Barros, Brazil Country Manager, Viber

Latin America is a promising market for OTTs and data consumption, but that doesn’t mean lost revenue for operators and MNOs in the region. In this exclusive interview for the LTE World Series Blog, Luiz Felipe Barros, Brazil Country Manager at Viber, tells us about the opportunities in partnership between MNOs and OTT players.

One of the featured keynote speakers at the 6th Annual LTE Latin America conference and exhibition, Luiz Felipe sat down with us to give us a quick summary of his key message eat this year’s show.

Read the rest of this entry »

Imran Malik, Senior Director – Enterprise Business Commercial at du

Imran Malik, Senior Director – Enterprise Business Commercial at du

MENA is a huge and extremely diverse region of 23 countries that form part of the broader EMEA categorization. In the past 10 years, economic growth in MENA has been two to five times that in Western Europe and this means the cellular-enabled devices market is poised for continued growth.

Ahead of the LTE MENA conference in Dubai this May, I caught up regional expert and speaker at this year’s conference Imran Malik, Senior Director – Enterprise Business Commercial at du, to discuss his opinions on the region’s continued growth and the new services that offer the most potential to boost operator revenues.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ayman ElNashar

Ayman Elnashar, Senior Director for Wireless Broadband, Terminals & Performance at du

The integrated service provider du has been selected as the Official Smart City Wi-Fi Provider in Dubai and has since been successfully expanding its Wi-Fi network to major landmarks in UAE, such as Dubai Tram [1] and Global Village [2], etc…

Ahead of the LTE MENA conference in Dubai, we spoke with Ayman Elnashar, Senior Director for Wireless Broadband, Terminals & Performance at du. Ayman will be discussing du Wireless Broadband plans in more detail at the show, but I wanted to find out how du subscribers are already getting a better service thanks to this innovation.

Read the rest of this entry »

James Allison - Manager of Planning  - Capitol Corridor

James Allison, Manager of Planning, Capitol Corridor

As networks spread and become more dense, consumers will expect to be connected wherever they are. Public transport has been slow to keep up with this trend, but Capitol Corridor, an intercity passenger train system that provides convenient public transport across the second-largest urban service area in the Western United States, has been one of leaders in the US, in providing WiFi on trains. We sat down with James Allison, Manager of Planning, who has lead the project to get Capitol Corridor commuters connected on their journeys.

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s no secret that mobile networks are under tremendous stress, and data capacity is at an all-time high. Consumers want and require constant connectivity and the standards have become very high, making operators play catch-up with the higher set of expectations from customers.

Take airport Wi-Fi as an example…just a few years ago it did not even exist, and today, customers are outraged when it is not available or it is of poor quality. The feeling has become that Wi-Fi, cellular connectivity and the ability to connect is no longer a service, but a common human right.

Read the rest of this entry »

This guest post was written by Ofer Talmor, VP Products, Saguna

Ofer Talmor, VP Products, Saguna

Ofer Talmor, VP Products, Saguna

With the high usage of mobile devices in almost every aspect of our lives, mobile retail revenue stats are hardly a surprise: In Q1 of 2014, retail revenue generated via a mobile device was up 35 percent over first quarter of last year, with mobile owning 13.7 per cent of total e-commerce orders in Q1 2013 compared to 18.5 percent during the first quarter of this year.

But while a lot of data is aggregated about online shopping habits, a big piece of the puzzle is still missing – how do you track brick and mortar customers to identify the optimal point of conversion in-store? How can you identify when a shopper walks in the store, and offer him the best retail experience?  Can the experience that can be amplified by mobile usage?

At the same time, the human need to ‘touch the merchandise’ is still a dominant one. So is the desire to get it immediately, rather than browse online, and wait Combining mobile and in-store engagement for retail success

Read the rest of this entry »

Cody Postier, Senior Manager Mobile Data Services, Ooredoo

Cody Postier, Senior Manager Mobile Data Services, Ooredoo

Ooredoo is working hard to build bigger, faster networks across all their markets and in particular in their home market of Qatar. Ahead of the LTE MENA conference in Dubai, we caught up with Cody Carver Postier, Senior Manager Mobile Data Services at Ooredoo Qatar to find out how Ooredoo’s LTE networks will be enriching the lives of their consumers in 2015 and beyond.

“We’re giving them access to the best content and apps, providing the fastest upload and download times” he said “We believe the key to encouraging customers is to introduce new devices, offer incentives to upgrade and to make it as easy as possible for customers to move to 4G.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Marc Zirka, Head of Corporate Strategy, Bakcell

Marc Zirka, Head of Corporate Strategy, Bakcell

Some of the discussions at LTE MENA 2015 will examine the challenges of deploying LTE in the emerging markets in the region. One of the key questions at the event will be what does it take to rollout a successful commercial LTE network?

To help us understand the challenges of LTE rollout, we caught up with keynote speaker Marc Zirka, Head of Corporate Strategy at Bakcell, ahead of their commercial LTE launch. He gave us a breakdown of the challenges they faced preparing to deploy their network and key insights into the strategy and thought process behind their decision to deploy LTE.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sonal Ghelani, Research Manager at Informa Telecoms & Media

Sonal Ghelani, Research Manager at Informa Telecoms & Media

As we see the current generation of mobile networks transform the way people communicate and access information, it is evident that further development of the networks and technology implementation will redefine end-user experience along with the entire global telecoms landscape.

5G networks, if it delivers on its promise, will be the technology that delivers on this change. Over time, we are to see any mobile app and any mobile service will be given the potential to connect to any device or machine at any given time, with low latency and high capacity. Working towards a connected generation and enabling high speeds with more capacity is what 5G networks will deliver.

Read the rest of this entry »

Femi Adeyemi, PhD LTE Solutions Architect, Fujitsu Network Communications

Femi Adeyemi, PhD
LTE Solutions Architect, Fujitsu Network Communications

This post was written by Dr. Femi Adeyemi, LTE Solutions Architect at Fujitsu Network Communications

 

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is considered by many to be a revolutionary application, for both mobile operators and their subscribers:  Operators, once they establish VoLTE networks, will no longer have to maintain separate networks—circuit-switched for voice and packet-switched for data. As a result, they will see savings in both operational and capital expenses.  Subscribers who use VoLTE will be able to use high quality voice and data applications simultaneously, while enjoying greater clarity in voice calls.

However, VoLTE deployment has been slower than anticipated due to several challenges…

Read the rest of this entry »

Ryley MacKenzie, CEO of Anera

Ryley MacKenzie, CEO of Anera collects his prize for Top Innovator at LTE North America

Anera, an SDN and NFV solution provider, was crowned the winner of this year’s Innovation Accelerator at LTE North America in Dallas.

The Innovation Accelerator aims to discover the most exciting start-ups in the market today. This year, hundreds of entries poured in prior to the event, and were subsequently wittled down to a shortlist of 3 companies by our judging panel. Those three companies then pitched their services to a panel of expert judges and the LTE North America attendees.

Read the rest of this entry »

This is Part II of Peter Nas’ Blog Entry: Other DRA added-value in VoLTE

There’s additional value to the fundamental session binding functionality of a DRA. A DRA can enable optimal call management ensuring higher quality-of-service VoLTE calls. For instance, think of all the different vendors’ equipment that is needed to exchange Diameter Gx and Rx signaling. One example is when the LTE PGW has a different Gx implementation than the PCRF. In turn that PCRF can have a different Diameter Rx implementation than the IMS’s P-CSCF node. Typically inside an operator’s network, there will be various vendors for LTE, PCRF and IMS core network elements. And this is the norm in roaming use cases where the visited LTE network is out of control (meaning a different vendor) than the home IMS network, where the P-CSCF (and other elements) will be involved.

Read the rest of this entry »

Peter Nas, Senior Solution Architect, F5 Networks

Peter Nas, Senior Solution Architect, F5 Networks

This article was written by Peter Nas, Senior Solution Architect for the Traffix SDC, F5 Networks

Operators have begun to get more and more serious around deploying VoLTE (Voice over LTE) in their networks. Since the announcements of VoLTE services from some Korean and US operators, others, particularly in Asia, North America and EMEA, have launched or are about to launch VoLTE (see GSA announcement of 17th Sep 2014: 71 operators in 36 countries investing in VoLTE deployments, studies or trials, 10 operators commercially launched HD voice using VoLTE). More often than not, operators use a Diameter Routing Agent (DRA) to support correct routing and control of the Diameter signaling related to VoLTE.

Read the rest of this entry »

This post is by Neil McKinlay, Senior Manager – Product Management, Anritsu

The market is changing rapidly, with new applications and usage models appearing daily. LTE is a major driving force in this change by providing reliable high bandwidth to mobile devices.

The cost of that ubiquitous bandwidth is falling with the realizing of NFV and SDN technology, further pushing down the cost per megabit delivered to the end customer.

This is all great news for the industry, more bandwidth, more users, more apps, new devices, higher quality connections, video support. What’s not to like?

Read the rest of this entry »

This post is by Eyal Amit, Product Marketing Manager, Amdocs

Plenty of service providers (and their end-customers) have jumped on the 4G LTE bandwagon. As a result, two of the most immediate and noticeable changes we are seeing are the speed at which data services are running and high-definition voice quality.

And that’s great…assuming that everything works as it should, and customers receive the quality of experience they were promised. But sadly, many 4G LTE implementations do not live up to expectations due to the challenges that lie within the core elements of these networks.

Read the rest of this entry »

Kevin Linehan, VP and CTO, CommScope

Kevin Linehan, VP and CTO, CommScope

This post is by Kevin Linehan, VP and CTO Antenna Systems, CommScope

According to a GSMA Intelligence study, global LTE connections will hit the 1-billion mark by 2017 and Asia will account for almost half, or 47 percent of that. The demand for high speed connections and rich media experience is keeping operators on their toes and constantly upgrading and building more efficient LTE networks. As operators work towards keeping high levels of subscriber satisfaction, network coverage and capacity becomes utmost concern.

I have been in the telecommunications industry for nearly three decades and these developments are extremely exciting.  At the LTE Asia Conference, which took place from September 24-25 in Singapore, I was happy to share a presentation titled “Antennas Solutions for Capacity Improvement” in which I addressed concerns related to maximizing network capacity and developing unified industry standards for base-station antennas.

Read the rest of this entry »

This post is by Terry Young, Director of Marketing, Stoke

LTE network sharing is on the rise, encouraged by regulators to speed penetration of advanced broadband and increasingly adopted by operators to improve the economics of entering or expanding their LTE base.

The LTE industry in Africa has grown steadily over the last few years, but slowing revenue growth, increasing costs and shareholders demanding returns are forcing operators to consider the next wave of investment. Over-the-top services are gaining traction in Africa as smartphone usage grows, but the willingness to pay among consumers is limited, and enabling payment is also an ongoing challenge. Mobile money continues to be an area of intense interest for the region, and for service providers, given the size of the opportunity among the unbanked.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ronny Haraldsvik, CMO/SVP, SpiderCloud Wireless

Ronny Haraldsvik, SVP/CMO, SpiderCloud Wireless

At the heart of SpiderCloud’s scalable 3G/4G small cell system is the Services Node (SCSN), a “local” control point for the small cell network deployed inside the enterprise over existing Ethernet. It’s also where the enterprise edge meets the mobile operators edge network. The small-cell system can provide cellular capacity and coverage to over 1.5 million sq.ft. of space and support for 10,000 voice and data subscribers.

Beyond coverage and capacity, after credibility has been established with the IT department, the Services Node is a strategic point of entry into the enterprise IT environment for mobile operators and business partners to service IT, and a potential great revenue opportunity.

Read the rest of this entry »

This is Part II of Peter Nas’ blog post on local break out technology

 

Peter Nas serves as Senior Solution Architect at F5 Networks and draws from more than 20 years of telecom experience to advise operators how to leverage Diameter signaling solutions to enable the optimal LTE experience. Peter joined F5 with the company’s acquisition of Traffix where he was responsible for global business development.  Prior to joining Traffix, he worked at Tekelec focusing on market development for Diameter and SIP routing. In his days before Tekelec, he served as Core Network Engineering Manager at a prominent mobile operator in the Netherlands.

In my last blog post, I began looking at the slow progress for the deployment of LBO (local breakout) technology that will reduce mobile roaming revenues. In this post, I will suggest various ways to leverage LBO to offset the reduction in roaming revenues.

One interesting aspect of LBO is that the signaling for two additional Diameter interfaces, S9 for policy and Gy for charging, could be exchanged between visited and home networks, and if so, this will be done via an IPX network as per GSMA guidelines (IR.88). There are different views on whether or not using the S9 interface to exchange policy information between the visited PCRF and home PCRF, will be massively used once LBO is offered, but let’s assume it will be used. In this case, an IPX carrier can offer various services around Diameter interworking, security and perhaps also screening, overload control, prioritization and potentially adapting policy rules and more.

Read the rest of this entry »

This post is by Peter Nas, Senior Solution Architect, F5 Networks

Peter Nas, Senior Soltuion Architect, F5 Networks

Peter Nas, Senior Solution Architect, F5 Networks

 

For over ten years, the technology to offer local breakout (commonly known as LBO) has existed, allowing data use by roaming customers to be supported by the visited operator’s network. This is in contrast to the scenario in which data requests are sent back to the roamer’s home network, which of course, results in higher costs. However, despite the obvious fact that many people would like to get lower data roaming rates, a wish not limited to Europeans traveling in the EU, sadly it is not offered yet.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Marc Bensadoun, CEO of Newfield Wireless

Marc Bensadoun, CEO of Newfield Wireless

This post is by Marc Bensadoun, CEO of Newfield Wireless

“Mobile comms consultancy Northstream reckons European telcos are missing out on over €2 billion in potential profits that could come from effectively partnering with Internet players generally referred to as OTTs,” reported Telecoms.com recently.

Over-the-top (OTT) providers are a big and painful thorn in the side of telcos around the world. Couple this with the growth of 4G and dramatically increased data speeds, and we see how fast the competitive landscape is changing. Now, with Voice over LTE (VoLTE), mobile operators have the power to change it and vault over the competition.

VoLTE gives operators a chance to fight back by providing a native product with the promise of a significantly better user experience. In the process it can solve a lot of operators’ OTT-related challenges. An all-IP technology combines LTE with IMS to efficiently deliver a full suite of services such as IM, video chat, HD voice, presence, and group chat — all opportunities for carriers to differentiate themselves from OTT providers.

In North America, for example, where unlimited voice is the norm, there isn’t as much incentive for subscribers to use OTT voice except for when dialing or traveling internationally. Data or messaging OTT solutions are a different story. However, VoLTE is far from straightforward to deploy and presents operators with a new set of obstacles that are unlike anything they’ve experienced before, especially when it comes to optimising the Radio Access Network (RAN).

Earlier in 2014, several operators delayed their commercial VoLTE launches, citing RAN issues as the cause. The bigger challenge is that VoLTE, and LTE in general, has irreversibly changed subscriber access to mobile services. Engineers that have spent decades perfecting the RAN for traditional voice communications are now faced with the rise of 4G smartphones, all-IP applications and new ways for devices to interact with the core network, which all take time to deploy and test. Given the current transformed network environment, it’s no surprise OTT players have encroached so heavily on voice and messaging revenues – operators haven’t yet been able to fight back, and archaic network testing process is to blame.

With the size and multi-dimensions of today’s mobile networks, legacy solutions like drive testing are incomplete, expensive and time consuming, particularly for deploying products and introducing new devices. New big data-based tools make it simpler and more cost effective to roll out new services. When operators see network and subscriber-level data before a major technology upgrade, they establish a baseline. Big data solutions make this possible. Then, operators can rely on ongoing analytics to see the real-time impact of changes they make to the network, to identify and resolve performance issues as soon as they occur. This is vital for a successful VoLTE launch.

VoLTE deployments are set to double in the next 12 months, according to a September report published by the GSA. The report also indicates engineers are resolving the complexities of managing LTE deployments and are in a position to more effectively compete with OTT players. They need to be. Drive testing alone simply won’t work with VoLTE.

For operators launching VoLTE, subscribers will only be happy if the service is seamless, works well and doesn’t cost them more. Operators need to provide that while focusing on their additional priorities, such as rapid and seamless launch, low operational costs and minimized complexity and challenges associated with deployment. This is essential at launch and on an ongoing basis, as OTT services cannot compete with VoLTE when networks become heavily loaded.

VoLTE is still a young concept, but can be a vital competitive asset. And even though it’s not getting as much attention as bendgate, all new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6-Plus devices come VoLTE-enabled.

It’s only a matter of time before more devices launch with VoLTE, so the time to act is now. Is your network ready for VoLTE?

About the author:  Marc Bensadoun is founder and CEO of Newfield Wireless, a Tektronix Communications company and leader in RAN geoanalytics. For more information, please visit www.newfieldwireless.com.

Miguel Geraldes, CEO, MTC, Namibia

Miguel Geraldes, CEO, MTC, Namibia

Miguel Geraldes, CEO, MTC Namibia is speaking on the subject of LTE launch strategies in Africa at the second annual LTE Africa conference, taking place on the 11th-13th November 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa.

You’ve already launched LTE in Namibia? What have you learned from the experience?

Indeed, MTC launched LTE in May 2012, with an aim to increase speed and capacity, especially for mobile broadband users (dongles and routers), as well as the new smartphone users. MTC’s strategy since 2008 was to compete in the broadband market, first using 3G, and thereafter LTE to fight against ADSL. To become the market leader in the broadband segment using mobile pushed MTC to deliver a more efficient service in terms of speed and latency against the fixed services, and against WiMAX in the wireless. But as a third of the customer base was already using advanced smartphones, not providing LTE was not an option.

What makes launching LTE in Namibia different and more challenging than doing so in Europe?

Read the rest of this entry »

In its second year, the LTE Voice 2014 conference proved to be a hit from the off, with standing room only in the hall for the opening keynotes.

IMG_0066

Starting us off, Philippe Lucas, senior vice president for standardization and eco-systems development at Orange delivered an overview of the carrier’s views of VoLTE and noted that legacy networks were holding it back, and that it wants to move to an all-IP more quickly.  He also said that while carriers were confident after launching VoLTE, many were first launching voice over Wi-Fi first.

IMG_0068

He also made the claim that Apple’s support for Voice over Wi-Fi demonstrated a “lack of confidence in FaceTime,” which seems a bit of a bold statement. It does indicate that Apple sees the importance of carrier-grade technology, but it remains to be seen if FaceTime will die a death.

IMG_0155

When it comes to VoLTE, no one has more experience that the South Korean operators and Joong-Gunn Park of SK Telecom’s Network Technology R&D Center was up next. SK Telecom markets its VoLTE offering as HD Voice, which shows exactly where it believes the emphasis lies. Park said its users were very satisfied with VoLTE, highlighting the upgrade in voice quality, the speed of connection and the ability to browse during calls as major benefits. It also presented a number of new service opportunities that VoLTE provides, such as including call spam filters and yellow pages integration.

IMG_0075

Later on at the conference LTEU+ was also up on stage demoing the UI of using the phone and multitasking in action – for the rest of the world it’s a taste of the future. One particular use case that stood out was the ability to screen share and share the view of the camera while on a call – enabling users feel ‘more connected’.

Vendor Amdocs took to the stage, and its view was that VoLTE was a genuine opportunity to create a real service experience and monetize it. Examples given were to provide a ‘turbo’ button that would enable a user to upload content at an event such as a concert where normally they would not get service due to congestion. It was all about building “business agility to create interesting scenarios.”

IMG_0077

This contrasted with the panel session, with two operators, SK Telecom and Orange, and two vendors, Metaswitch and Opencloud, who all agree that VoLTE itself was not about monetization – but was about the services that were built on top of it to create user value, increase satisfaction and reduce churn. However, there was some disagreement about the role of APIs. While SK Telecom has earlier championed them its presentation, Francois Dubois, VP product development at Orange and Piers Finlayson, vice president of product management for Metaswich agreed that opening up APIs were crucial to create more value and revenue.  However, Mark Windle, head of marketing for OpenCloud was less sure describing ‘relying’ on third-parties to create value as “an exercise in waiting to get lucky.” As ever in life, a combined approach would seem to be the most sensible way forward.

IMG_0086

In the morning we also got to hear Oracle’s vision of direct monetization from VoLTE, Huawei showing us that the KPI for VoLTE were superior to that of circuit switch calls, and Sprint, who explained that the low data rates for VoLTE meant that performance could be maintained even at the cell edge.

Overall, positivity was the take away from the morning session, and there was a sense of satisfaction that carriers are increasingly getting their collective acts together regarding VoLTE.

IMG_0078

IMG_0130

Be sure to follow the rest of the conversation on Twitter via the hash tag #LTEVoice

 

 

Manasa Agaram, Product Marketing Manager, Amdocs

Manasa Agaram, Product Marketing Manager, Amdocs

This post is by Manasa Agaram, Product Marketing Manager, Amdocs

Myths give us a nice story, but when it comes to VoLTE, here are five you can disregard.

There is no shortage of industry discussion around voice over LTE (VoLTE).  Some service providers, such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless, have announced launch plans while more are planning trials and proof of concepts this year, as evidenced by our conversations with customers.

Service providers are looking towards VoLTE to provide an innovative and differentiated HD voice experience that will enable them to compete and partner with over-the-top (OTT) alternatives. At Amdocs, we’ve been working with a number of service providers around VoLTE and it’s clear to us that VoLTE is not well understood, in particular when it comes to a fundamental capability such as policy and charging control (PCC).

We’ve uncovered five common myths that service providers need to be mindful of when evaluating their PCC needs for VoLTE. As in any myth, there is often some truth behind it but most often, it’s not the full picture!

Myth #1 – VoLTE is just another use case.

Not exactly. There is tremendous complexity in the set up and tear-down of a VoLTE call, with the right quality of service (QoS) assigned in real time. You will likely have numerous VoLTE-enabled devices on your network. What about the ability to negotiate QoS on a per device basis, based on the device codec’s capability? When it comes to VoLTE trials, there are at least 20 use cases that will need to be tested. Read the rest of this entry »

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,369 other followers

%d bloggers like this: