For several years, we have predicted that mobile operators would deploy VoIP over their data channels, and it looks like our annual prediction is finally coming true this year. A 2015 VoLTE State-of-The-Market Report sponsored by Sonus and released last week shows that as mobile operators build out their broadband data networks using 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution), Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is evolving as the platform of choice for delivering voice calls.
The survey included results from both mobile operators and enterprise IT professionals, and it shows the progress operators have made in their VoLTE deployments and what their enterprise customers have come to expect from their VoLTE platforms. VoLTE provides a long term solution for voice so that the 3G networks can be retired, thus eventually salvaging all available spectrum for LTE. VoLTE is based on standards completed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), providing Voice over IP (VoIP) that is by the supported by IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture landline VoIP providers are deploying.
VoLTE offers other long term benefits such as the potential to more easily integrate Voice over IP services (including landline VoIP networks), unified communications (UC) services, and emerging IP technologies and services such as WebRTC and video collaboration.
While the sample did include respondents from around the world, most replies came from North American responses. Mobile operators and enterprise IT professionals were surveyed. Among the key findings discovered from operators:
- Over half of mobile operators (67%) who responded to this survey said they already offer VoLTE or will offer it in 2015.
- Spectrum efficiency was the highest scoring reason to deploy VoLTE among operators.
- 75% of carrier respondents cite VoLTE as enabling roaming between WiFi and VoLTE networks.
Enterprise customers were also surveyed, and most had strong opinions about how VoLTE will affect their business:
- 79% of enterprise respondents see enterprise mobility as important to their business.
- 74% of enterprise IT professionals say it is important for carriers to deploy VoLTE.
- 43% of enterprise IT managers say that VoLTE integration with hosted UC services is important.
Interestingly, one of the important conclusions from the research showed that most features that will benefit enterprise users are not planned in the first wave of mobile operators’ feature deployment.
To read more about VoLTE market conditions, please click here for the full report.