Posts tagged ‘LTE Voice 2014’

LTE Voice hits the right notes

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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

 

 

Five Myths about VoLTE

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. (more…)

Interview: Project Director Wireless and LTE, Swisscom: “The “killer app” is, and will continue to be good quality voice.”

Christian Menini, Project Director Wireless and LTE, Swisscom

Christian Menini, Project Director Wireless and LTE, Swisscom

Christian Menini, Project Director Wireless and LTE, Swisscom is giving a real life case study about Swisssom’s LTE deployment on Day One of the LTE Voice Summit, taking place on October 7th-8th 2014 at the Royal Garden Hotel, London.

What are you expecting and hoping for from the commercial launch on VoLTE?

The commercial launch of VoLTE, which we are aiming for next year at Swisscom as well, really does have the potential to get the ball rolling. With VoLTE, the MNP are completing the technological change that will enable them to further develop mobile voice communication, as one of their most important assets, and reposition it.

I believe the good old “voice service” may experience a small “renaissance”. Over the past few years voice has been forced into the background by all of the new communication forms. But I’m convinced: Voice is not only noise.

As we approach commercial launch is there any clearer idea of whether VoLTE will truly compete or will it just complement OTT services?

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The Brain behind Voice Quality

Amir Zmora, VP Alliances and Partnerships for AudioCodes.

Amir Zmora, VP Alliances and Partnerships for AudioCodes.

This post is by Amir Zmora, VP Alliances and Partnerships, AudioCodes, and Barry Spielman, head of Analyst Relations, AudioCodes

 Voice quality is a topic anyone dealing with VoIP knows is important and complex. Regardless if your expertise is on the client or server side, if your product is touching the media, you know that this requires constant work as there is always something to improve.

When calls traverse between different types of networks, things can get tricky due to the different network characteristics and the need to mitigate these differences. This issue will be the focus on my presentation at the upcoming LTE Voice Summit in London. I also covered it in detail in my post 3 Things Required for Managing Cross Network Voice Quality.

In this post, I want to talk about the voice enhancement tools available, those tools that would run and be dynamically utilized in the core network element, the “brain” of voice enhancement as I described it in that post.  So I highly recommend that you read that post for the sake of completeness of information.

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Interview: General Manager, LG U+, “I believe we can compete with OTT services.”

Seunghyun Sung

Seunghyun Sung, General Manager, LG U+

Seunghyun Sung, General Manager, LG U+ is speaking on the subject of how the Korean operator has led the way on implementing VoLTE on Day One of the second annual LTE Voice Summit, taking place on October 7th-8th 2014 at the Royal Garden Hotel, London. Here she gives us some hints on how VoLTE can add to customer satisfaction and enable it to compete with OTT providers.

What are you expecting and hoping for from the commercial launch on VoLTE?

We currently provide seamless and intelligent communication experiences to our customers through our commercial VoLTE network. Since our customers use voice call features in an LTE environment, by making full use of the advantages that LTE/VoLTE technology provides we are able to offer many differentiated features. For example, we have a service called Uwa, which enables users to have a phone conversation, while using third-party apps for gaming, web surfing etc.

As we approach commercial launch is there any clearer idea of whether VoLTE will truly compete or just complement OTT services?

(more…)

Interview: SVP Standardisation and Ecosystems Development, Orange: “Our intent is that VoLTE will drive adoption of enriched communication services.”

Philippe Lucas, SVP Standardisation and Ecosystems Development, Orange

Philippe Lucas, SVP Standardisation and Ecosystems Development, Orange

Philippe Lucas, SVP Standardisation and Ecosystems Development, Orange is speaking on Day One of of the 2nd annual LTE Voice Summit, taking place on October 7th-8th 2014 at the Royal Garden Hotel, London.

What are you expecting and hoping for from the commercial launch on VoLTE?

I’m expecting a rapid take-off and a large terminal offering. Our intent is that VoLTE will drive adoption of enriched communication services. Therefore operators will have to quickly move to all-IP so that we can collectively provide a universal interoperable service offering with much richer capabilities that before, e.g. messaging, video etc.

As we approach commercial launch is there any clearer idea of whether VoLTE will truly compete or just complement OTT services?

(more…)

‘VoLTE Calling’: Are we ready for Voice-over-LTE?

Sonal Ghelani

Conference Researcher, Informa Telecoms & Media

Voice-over-LTE is a much awaited technology that has seen many trials since its first commercial launch by Korea’s SK Telecom and MetroPCS in the US in 2012. With 279 LTE networks now deployed around the world, according to the GSA, it is expected that 2014 will be the year that will see VoLTE more widely launched.

VoLTE promises clearer calls that will connect much quicker and use less bandwidth, thus the move from legacy circuit-switched networks onto LTE networks is vital. Successful VoLTE calls require VoLTE technology in the network along with compatible devices, such as those made by Samsung, and these have already been used in trials by Verizon, AT&T and EE, though the GSA now lists 329 devices that support VoLTE’s W-AMR codec.

What is also important are the other services, and therefore monetisation opportunities, that VoLTE enables over the network—how this technology is becoming the evolution of voice services and how it might bring different ecosystems together to provide great customer experience.

VoLTE will be a hot topic at the upcoming LTE World Summit in June, but also later in the year the LTE Voice Summit 2014, a dedicated voice event, will present speakers from Orange, Vodafone, EE, Telefonica, SK Telecom, LG Uplus and many other operators. At the event these operators will share their experiences and provide an insight on use and test cases of VoLTE deployments, along with discussing the fundamental reasons why carriers are implementing VoLTE.

Will it be successful in creating another revenue stream for operators, or is it just to eliminate the treat by OTT players? Come and join this debate at the LTE World Summit on 24-25th June, and at the LTE Voice Summit on the 7-8th October 2014, London.

World Summit 2014

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