It’s Voice over LTE (VoLTE) time. As we all know, the numbers of LTE networks and subscribers have been growing tremendously; the former, for instance, is expected to reach 460 by the end of 2015. And we’ve all enjoyed getting data via a more landline-like experience thanks to rapid LTE network connectivity.
From a voice perspective, however, VoLTE is still in its early developmental phases. There are multiple reasons for this—mainly, because carriers were more than happy to use 3G networks for voice in order to meet the demand for mobile data; however, that meant they needed to support multiple networks, which involves heavy expenses. Conversely, there is opportunity for OPEX reduction with LTE, and so there is a large cost driver to gradually move voice to LTE networks and to retire these older networks.
One benefit of VoLTE that I have written about before is the use of HD Voice (you can read about other benefits I’ve written about in a previous blog). One impediment to VoLTE that still exists, though, involves support for VoLTE capable phones. Apple’s announcement of VoLTE support in the iPhone 6, however, signaled a shift in this perception of VoLTE. In fact, research from GSMA shows that by 2020 it’s expected that up to 85 percent of all smartphones will be VoLTE capable.
I’ve also written about IPX in the past, and I’ve seen a lot of interest in IPX out there. One reason for this is the desire to pass VoLTE traffic from international carrier to international carrier. At the end of the day, I’m seeing definite signs that the time for VoLTE is now.