With 4G LTE (News - Alert) network infrastructure costs rising rapidly, mobile operators are cutting on further spending. Consequently, even though mobile data volumes are rising and traditional cellular voice usage and revenue declining, mobile operators are understandably reluctant to further invest in legacy (circuit-switched) networks to improve the voice experience.
Nevertheless, the market strategy consultancy believes that voice over LTE or VoLTE will enable LTE operators to eventually terminate their legacy, circuit-switched voice 2G/3G network infrastructure in favor of consolidating voice traffic on the all-IP LTE network platform. As per iGR’s explanation, VoLTE is similar to voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) with the primary differentiator being that VoLTE provides a mobile component to the Session Initiation Protocol (News - Alert) (SIP).
As a result, it promises to significantly lower voice infrastructure costs and improve voice quality and the overall customer experience. The research firm’s further indicates that VoLTE will allow voice service to be integrated into other applications and content, such as games and social networking apps.
In a statement, Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR, said, "As LTE networks roll out in a much broader way this year and through 2013, VoLTE is quickly becoming perceived as a new 'killer application.' This is particularly true from the mobile operator's perspective since a shift to IMS-/IP-based voice will help mobile operators transition its 2G/3G licensed spectrum to 4G LTE."
However, he added, “The path to VoLTE is likely to be challenging for all parties. It will not be until much later this decade that the majority of U.S. voice traffic is on VoLTE and not traditional circuit connections."
According to iGR, its new market research report, “Moving Toward the VoLTE Era”, provides details on VoLTE, its potential impact on the U.S. cellular market, and the challenges surrounding its implementation.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman