Ahead of the 3rd annual LTE Voice Summit 2015, I interviewed Kobus Smit, Head of Voice and Messaging at Deutsche Telekom who gave us an insight on services VoLTE will offer + customer benefits it will bring
Q. As we see the commercial launch, is there any clearer idea of whether VoLTE will truly live up to its promise?
A. VoLTE offers some clear customer benefits – especially around HD voice quality and faster call set-up times, which we believe customers will notice and appreciate. There are also further advantages, like high speed browsing during a call, but the usecases are still pretty limited. The largest benefit of VoLTE, however, is arguably for the Operator and not so much for the customer as it facilitates the necessary transfer of voice to IP. We therefore belief that from a customer perspective “plain” VoLTE alone will not necessarily be a very convincing proposition.
Q. Can we expect to see new and innovative services built on top of plain audio VoLTE?
A. Yes indeed – and it is already being prepared. DT has developed an Enriched Calling proposition together with Sony, Vodafone and others, which we will be bringing to market soon. This enables customers to have a far richer calling experience by adding context and content before, during and after a call. The features include the setting of call importance, adding a subject, picture or location before the call; during a call, users can exchange, locations, draw on maps or pictures, share videos, images and files, and after the call customers have the possibility to leave a visual voicemail, a video or text message. All of this is delivered with very little incremental effort, by utilizing RCS functionality already available in the network and handsets to deliver a truly enhanced user experience.
Q. What is the future, beyond VoLTE? What are the next steps in network development?
A. We are deploying VoLTE on a local basis first and will then extend it to Roaming. We further plan to combine VoLTE with other voice services such as WiFi Calling and plan to establish Video Calling. With VoLTE as a basis for IP voice, it opens the possibility of further enhancement and service meshing in the IP domain.
Q. Network Function Virtualization for VoLTE- what does this to you and is the way forward for this service?
A. For us it is not about the virtualization of one single service, its more about the virtualization of the network infrastructure in order to be more efficient and offer better quality and service for our customers.
Q. What will be your key message at the LTE Voice Summit 2015?
A. Enriched Call builds an attractive proposition around VoLTE.
Meet Kobus and a host of senior executives from around the globe at this year’s LTE Voice Summit in London, on September 29th & 30th. More information at voice.lteconference.com