This post is by Malcolm Chan, Managing Director, BICS, Asia-Pacific.
Asia is expected to account for almost half (forty-seven per cent) of all LTE connections by 2017, as LTE networks are rolled out in major markets such as China and India, making Asia-Pacific the world’s largest LTE market in terms of service revenue. In the face of this tremendous growth, operators need to seek innovation through Next Generation Communication Services to maintain market share and customer loyalty.
To achieve this, operators need to ensure they provide an enhanced user experience. Central to this is an enriched communication experience with IMS based services like VoLTE and Rich Communications Services (RCS).
As OTT players increase the number of VoIP and messaging services they offer their customers globally, mobile operators need to deploy VoLTE and RCS services in order to offer innovative high quality services through their unique proposition of ubiquity, global reach, quality and privacy management.
VoLTE is an important element of an all-IP strategy with 66 operators in different stages of VoLTE deployment worldwide. VoLTE is also called Voice Plus for its HD call quality, lower call setup time, improved mobile battery life and flexibility of integration with services such as video, RCS and social connections.
In order to make VoLTE ubiquitous and allow for international reach, mobile operators need to connect to an IPX provider’s VoLTE hub to enable them to seamlessly interconnect with other mobile networks. They can then provide VoLTE roaming when the end user is roaming in a different network.
RCS is the only standard mobile technology for mobile operators to position themselves in the field of this new generation of personal communications that OTTs have been so good at. RCS provides end-users with the ultimate combination of rich voice and messaging services including SMS, instant messaging, group chat, live video sharing and file transfer.
It has already begun to gain traction in markets around the world with nine trillion messages sent in 2013 and the number of operators adopting the service set to rise to 71 by the end of 2014. Operators must, therefore, look to deploy services quickly to increase engagement with customers and secure their position as providers of next generation communication services beyond traditional voice and messaging services. By adding RCS to their offering, mobile operators can retain customers who may otherwise turn to domestic competitors or use OTT communication services.
Hosted RCS platforms enable mobile operators to launch RCS quickly, easily, and efficiently, enabling them to engage with their end-user and secure their position as a ubiquitous provider of both innovative mobile services and traditional voice and messaging. However, enabling global RCS reach beyond an operator’s own network boundary can only be achieved by connecting to the RCS hub of an IPX provider’s network ensuring full interoperability.
With Asia’s forty-seven commercial LTE networks deployed in twenty-three countries, and with 66.1 million LTE subscribers expected to continue growing, APAC’s mobile operators must ensure subscribers’ expectations are met.
Operators who have invested in LTE now need to provide the best end user experience and demonstrate they are best-in-class with innovative communication services. This can be ensured by choosing an experienced IPX partner who can offer the full suite of solutions, such as LTE signalling, LTE Roaming, Hosted RCS, RCS hubbing and VoLTE interworking and roaming to enable LTE services nationally and internationally.
To learn more about LTE services please visit my colleague Mikaël Schachne’s speaking session, “Roaming in an all IP-environment – the full Landscape”, at the LTE Asia Summit in Singapore