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Despite the buzz about VoLTE most operators are cautious when it comes to deploying the service. AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless have both said they will deploy VoLTE in the future. But Verizon, in particular, has pushed back its VoLTE deployment projections after initially targeting 2012. The company is currently saying it will deploy VoLTE this year. Interestingly, MetroPCS has been the most aggressive with VoLTE. The company is offering the service in selected markets. In early March, MetroPCS said that 15 of its major markets were VoLTE-capable. Analysts say that all operators will eventually move to VoLTE but the question is how fast will they launch the service? Experts say that voice services are too important for operators they cant risk deploying VoLTE until it has passed a series of quality tests. Besides making sure call handoffs are seamless across various networks, operators must also seed the market with VoLTE-compatible devices. Carriers also must diligently test the devices to make sure that critical services such as E911 will work with the new technology. Its too early to say how operators will market VoLTE to consumers. Some believe that they may use the service to differentiate themselves from their competitors by bundling it with advanced services such as group chat, video calling and even video mail. Others believe that operators may not market VoLTE as a new service, but instead will use it to reduce their operational costs by eliminating legacy voice infrastructure. In this ebook, we will look at the latest developments in VoLTE deployments as well delve into the impact VoLTE will have on devices, networks and other services.

THE PROMISE OF VoLTE

BY SUE MAREK

EDITOR-IN-CHIeF /// FIERCEWIRELESS

DIAMOND SPONsORs:

Slow and Steady Characterizes VoLTE Deployments

VoLTE Deployments: Whos on First, Second, Third

VoLTE Leads The Way to RCS and New Business Models

IMS 2.0 for VoLTE *Sponsored Content*

VoLTE Helps IMS Cross the Viability Chasm

Why VoLTE, RCS, and Video Services are Essential for Growing Revenue Beyond LTE Data Plans *Sponsored Content*

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VoLTE, E911 & SMS: The Next Frontier

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Considerations for Subscriber QoE-Centric VoLTE Service Performance *Sponsored Content*

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PLATINUM SPONsOR:

AUGUST 2 012

MaRCH 2013

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hurry because they already have voice and it works well, she said. revenue by 2016, while over-the-top (OTT) mobile VoIP will continue to make up the lions share. In the OTT space, Microsoft/ Skype still dominates. But independent OTT VoIP providers are working to differentiate from Skype and operator-driven OTT services like T-Mobiles Bobsled and Telefonicas TU Me by making their service easier to use, lowering prices, integrating social networking and adding video features, Myers said. Non-Skype OTT providers include Google, Facebook Messenger, Fring, Truphone, Viber and others. While much attention is centered on data and for good reason, voice and SMS make up about 70 percent of operators revenue globally. Operators might not regain revenues lost to OTT providers, but as voice and data are more closely entwined in pricing packages and the distinctions between the two types of services are removed, its possible that the incentive for customers to turn to OTT offerings will be lower and theyll still get the voice quality they expect direct from the operator. Demonstrating its not ready to surrender the voice market, Telefnica offers its O2 UK contract customers the TU Go app for Android and iOS so that subscribers can make and receive calls and texts over Wi-Fi using their existing mobile phone number rather than getting a new number from a third-party messaging app like WhatsApp. The service uses the consumers mobile minutes and SMS allotment, so its not free but offers the convenience of connecting with their regular number.

Slow and Steady Characterizes VoLTE Deployments


BY MONICa ALLe VeN questioning the wisdom of using VoLTE and backing away from it. Rather, the reason its taking so long has to do with the fact its a very new approach and voice is so central to handsets. They realize there are more complexities than they initially expected, said Monica Paolini, founder and president of Senza Fili Consulting. They will all eventually move to LTE. Theres no disagreement. The real question is how fast you want to go. Operators are not in a big

EXPECTATIONs

Operators already have voice services that work well so most are not in a rush to launch VoLTE. If you wanted to apply pop culture to the state of VoLTE, you could say South Korean operators are taking the fast and furious Gangnam Style approach. But in the United States, slow and steady by and large wins the day, and analysts say thats a good thing. Considering how big a switch it is moving from circuit-switched (CS) to an all-IP architecture, its no wonder that the biggest operators are taking their time. Plus, they already offer voice services and LTE was really designed for data, so whats the hurry? Its not trivial, said Phil Marshall, chief research ofcer at Tolaga Research. All these features need to be replicated and as reliable in the IP environment and theres a lot of work involved. There are issues in device compatibility and reliability, ensuring quality of service from an all-IP technology while at the same time, translating years of CS-based experience in vocoders and other components. The slow progress doesnt mean operators are
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Diane Myers, principal analyst at Infonetics, isnt surprised that VoLTE isnt more widely deployed today considering the magnitude of the switch. VoLTE requires an IMS core network to provide telephony over IP, and a lot of operators dont feel condent the IMS core is able to scale, so theyre still testing and putting IMS through its paces. That said, the carrier VoIP and IMS equipment market turned the corner in 2012, growing 9 percent over the previous year, according to Infonetics. The rm has forecast that VoLTE will make up only about 14 percent of global mobile VoIP

Its not trivial. All these features need to be replicated and as reliable in the IP environment and theres a lot of work involved.
PHIL MARsHALL, CHIEF REsEARCH OFFICER AT TOLAGA REsEARCH

WORTH THE wAIT

The real question is how fast you want to go. Operators are not in a big hurry because they already have voice and it works well.
MONICA PAOLINI, FOUNDER AND PREsIDENT OF SENZA FILI CONsULTING

Voice being a dwindling revenue source, it stands to reason that VoLTE must deliver a big punch for operators to make it worth their while. Its more efcient than traditional wireless voice services and the per-bit cost is lower, Paolini said. VoLTE also offers the ability to combine it with several enhanced IP-based services such as High Denition voice, presence, location and RCS features such as instant messaging, video share and enhanced phone books. LTE was created rst and foremost with data in mind, so one can imagine the challenges in creating entirely new ways of delivering voice services in a consumer world that doesnt appreciate voice as much as decades past but expects it to work

at least as well. Still, Paolini pointed out, voice is still king in its own right. Operators need to offer it, and if they can do so more efciently and combine it with the data package, then VoLTE is the way to go. Consumers still place a high value on a voice call over a video session. The question that is unanswered is whether mobile operators will be able to capitalize on Rich Communications Services (RCS) and, specically, on VoLTE, and regain the ground lost to OTT players, she said. At the same time, RCS is expected to change the relationships with OTTs, potentially opening the door for more partnerships. It remains to be seen if those types of deals will achieve anything close to a Gangnam Style popularity. l
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GSM, network to boot. Last August, MetroPCS Communications started selling its rst VoLTE-capable handset, the LG Connect 4G Android smartphone, in the Dallas/Fort Worth market. The company followed that up by being the nations rst mobile operator to offer Rich Communication Services (RCS) 5.0 services on an LTE network under the joyn brand. MetroPCS Chairman and CEO Roger Linquist said during the companys fourth-quarter earnings conference call that the operator is offering VoLTE in selected markets and as we roll it out, the voice quality that were nding is exceptional. MetroPCS had some concerns early on about voice quality on Internet Protocol, but its proving to be better on loss scores than what were seeing on the average, I might add, in the CDMA network, he said. As of early March, 12 of the carriers 15 major markets were VoLTE-capable, a spokesman conrmed. Linquist also told analysts the operator is being cautious in its rollout because it wants to make sure consumers get access to the same coverage on LTE as they do on CDMA.

VoLTE Deployments: Whos on First, Second, Third


BY MONICa ALLe VeN

Operator timelines for deploying VoLTE are still in ux. But all are likely to migrate to the technology at some point in the future. With the exception of one U.S. operator, its probably safest not to place any bets on exactly when Voice over LTE (VoLTE) will make its commercial debut. Thats because the timelines have shifted backwards for pretty much everybody since the GSMA formally announced

As of early March, 12 of the MetroPCS 15 major markets were VoLTE-capable.


the VoLTE initiative, One Voice, in 2010. In the United States, Verizon Wireless is deploying LTE across the country and AT&T is following suit, but the operator leading the way with VoLTE is not the biggest but the fth-largest facilities-based operator with a legacy CDMA, not

Telefonica Deutschland was the rst to demonstrate handover of LTE calls to 3G with its partners Acme Packet, Ericsson, Huawei, NSN, Qualcomm and Sony Mobile

THE PATH AHEAD

Ever since MetroPCS announced it was pursuing a merger with T-Mobile USA, the future of MetroPCS and its network has been the subject of speculation. Spokespersons at both companies declined to comment about what will happen post-merger but in a statement, T-Mobile said it plans to support MetroPCS subscribers who are using VoLTE. There is no feature MetroPCS customers are using today that T-Mobile
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cant immediately match on our network, the company said. T-Mobile also reiterated that it expects to deploy VoLTE in the future as the ecosystem continues to mature and the experiences are on par with or better than what customers get today. Were working and innovating on VoLTE from a technology perspective, but we arent in as much of a hurry as other carriers may be because we arent currently spectrum constrained and were able to support HSPA+ and LTE within one chipset, unlike CDMA. Spectrum-constrained CDMA operators might be motivated to move to VoLTE, but that doesnt mean GSM-based AT&T isnt pushing forward as well. Kris Rinne, EVP of Network Technologies at AT&T Labs, has said it will launch

VoLTE when it meets government requirements like E911 and CALEA and testing shows it provides satisfactory quality of service. Interestingly, when General Motors looked at operators to power its OnStar system, it focused on partners that could deploy VoLTE in a timely manner because OnStar wants its advisors to be able to talk to the driver and send data at the same time, a GM executive told FierceWireless. GM is using embedded LTE modules powered by AT&T Mobility. Verizon Wireless has been pushing back its deployment projections pretty steadily since an earlier initial target of launching in 2012. Most recently, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo told investment analysts in early March that we will ultimately get to voice over LTE,

probably end of this year, beginning of next year. By late 2014, the company can start looking to launch devices without CDMA chipsets in them, which also should reduce subsidy costs, he said. Sprint hasnt announced specic VoLTE plans yet but its denitely on the roadmap. Were exploring deployment timing and options, but were primarily focused rst on our nationwide LTE rollout, a spokesperson said. Sprint partner Clearwire has said it would offer VoLTE when it launches its TD-LTE network, but its business model has been data-centric and its not likely to be in any hurry to add voice. U.S. Cellular began testing VoLTE trials with multiple vendors in the fourth quarter and its VoLTE continued on page 13
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from competitors. At least initially, VoLTE may benet operators more from an operational and cost perspective, allowing them to potentially reduce the resources they have committed to maintaining the legacy voice infrastructure. Sponsored Content

VoLTE Leads The Way to RCS and New Business Models


BY DaN OSHea a standalone service to generate new revenue for LTE operators. It is not clear how operators may market the new capability, whether the VoLTE acronym will become part of the marketing lexicon, or whether carriers will skip technology terminology to position it as new HD voice quality that differentiates them

IMS 2.0 for VoLTE


The goals of VoLTE are lofty leverage existing IMS infrastructure to provide comparable or better voice services than the 3G network. VoLTE was designed to inherit and enhance the PSTNs reliability, security, and universal operability. Its standardized nature and multi-vendor ecosystem provide operators with an array of choices to build the infrastructure that best meets their specic needs. Unfortunately, several issues have prevented commercial VoLTE deployments in all but a few networks. IMS networks have proven to be extremely complex. This complexity manifests itself in many forms of exorbitant costs:  Capital equipment costs for securing equipment  Operational costs in planning, testing, and deployment  Opportunity costs due to the many lost chances repeated delays have caused Today these costs severely threaten the business case for VoLTE despite its potential. A new form of IMS is needed to achieve the original ambitions for rapid service innovation and service convergence without sacricing interoperability, security, or reliability. Unlike IMS 1.0, IMS 2.0 needs to achieve these objectives while reducing investment risks and shortening time-to-market. IMS 2.0 needs to be web-like easy to try,

Early VoLTE launches have generated excitement but it is unclear how operators will monetize and market the service. It may be difcult in this day and age to view voice service as an exciting application with new fresh revenue possibilities or cost-saving implications, but VoLTE promises to be just that, while acting as a gateway to a new generation of multimedia applications that change how mobile users communicate with one another. At face value, VoLTE may not appear to do much as

TAKING ON THE UPsTART VOIP PLAYERs

agile enough to adapt, and rapidly scalable when the market demands. IMS 2.0 needs to simplify the overly complex matrix that includes dozens of 3GPP interfaces and thousands of specication pages. These functions

If carriers do choose to market VoLTE as a brand new voice service, they may look to take a competitive swipe at upstart VoIP apps that continued on page 15

They will more likely just say, Im building a newer, better network, and that will be part of the reasoning for charging customers more for their data plans.
IAN MCCLAIN, DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE sTRATEGY AND MARKETING AT MAVENIR SYsTEMs

Click to enlarge can be consolidated and streamlined into fewer physical and logical elements to reduce provisioning, interoperability, and service optimization requirements. In most cases, a small scale network should be able to start just like a small website can with just an edge server and application server. A well designed system should be able to do this while maintaining, but not requiring, the many 3GPP interfaces to maximize exibility. IMS 2.0 needs to scale like the web infrastructure. Rather than adding more specialized elements to scale in a centralized, monolithic fashion, IMS 2.0 should utilize load balancers just as web architectures do. This allows for a more distributed, exible architecture that reduces costs by reusing existing operational procedures and expertise. This approach has the

added benet of providing for rapid scale and improved reliability via geo-redundancy. IMS 2.0 should leverage virtualization technologies wherever practical. Network Function Virtualization (NFV) offers a layer of physical and operational abstraction for IMS. Fortunately, many IMS elements are good candidates for NFV. Virtualization allows for broader use of low-cost commodity hardware and simplies network setup and maintenance. NFV also allows for more efcient usage of servers since numerous applications, even nontelecom applications, can efciently share the same virtualized hardware. Lastly IMS 2.0 needs to be truly agile not only in terms of accommodating best-of-breed components from different vendors, but also in terms of encompassing alternative architectures. For example, forgoing a separate HSS for an ENUM or local database can save costs and speed deployment for early-stage networks. This agility also should extend to the utilization of alternative deployment models. The most prevalent of these alternatives today is Internet service delivery (a.k.a. OTT or Telco-OTT) where services are no longer tied to a specic SIM on a limited number of devices. For maximum service reach and user penetration, IMS 2.0 should extend anywhere over the internet to mobile apps and on the web. l

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advanced, primarily in xedline networks, mobile carriers continued to rely on circuitswitched networking even in their migration to 3G. Now, as operators proceed with expansions of IP-based 4G LTE networks, and begin their VoLTE strategies, the new service may end up enhancing the value of the languishing IMS standard. The LTE network is different than 3G in that it is architected for latencysensitive applications, with the IP layer running through the Evolved Packet Core for converging voice and data. You dont have to have data on IP and voice as a circuitswitched session, Mitchell said. Ed Elkin, director of platform marketing at Alcatel-Lucent, said that sensitivity to latency means users can achieve a packet-based voice service with faster call set-up and better quality than using a VoIP application on a mobile phone. He noted that the GSMA trade group last year boosted the case for VoLTE over IMS by producing the IR.92 reference document, IMS Prole for Voice and SMS, which outlines the requirements for doing IMS-based voice in an LTE access environment. continued on page 17

VoLTE Helps IMS Cross the Viability Chasm


BY DaN OSHea Operators VoLTE strategies may jumpstart the languishing IMS standard With a large number of trials and commercials deployments planned for this year and next year, Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is set to sweep the industry at a much faster pace than some other technology movements, including IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), the once much-hyped architectural standard on which many VoLTE deployments will be built. IMS has been part of the industry conversation for more than a decade, and initially was seen as a transformative enabler of xed-mobile convergence. However, for many network operators, the evolution to IP-based networks has proceeded in ts and starts. Building a full IMS architecture proved costly for some, and it was sometimes difcult to see a clear connection between IMS investment and specic revenue-generating services. Carriers began building IMS to unite the service silos in their networks, but that hasnt happened as envisioned, said Kevin Mitchell, director of solutions marketing at Acme Packet. Even as IMS deployment
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Why VoLTE, RCS, and Video Services are Essential for Growing Revenue Beyond LTE Data Plans
BY RaY ADeNSameR To date, more than 300 mobile operators around the world have committed to LTE network investments to meet subscriber demands for more bandwidth. Operators will largely recover these investments with growing data plan service revenues, but how do they generate new revenue beyond data plans, and ensure that they are not relegated to offering LTE fat pipes that Over The Top (OTT) services can exploit? Radisys recently sponsored a Senza Fili survey of global mobile operators that conrmed that revenue generation and overcoming this OTT competition are the two key factors driving Rich Communication Services (RCS) rollouts. While voice has been a mainstay service in the operators portfolio, OTT VoIP and video applications are cannibalizing these revenuesa trend that will only accelerate with better LTE data connections. Operators must increase revenues by selling VoLTE and RCS that run over LTE. In the Senza Fili survey, operators were also asked about the impact of video services with RCS. While some operators indicated rollout plans for Interactive Voice and Video Response (IVVR), and Video Ring-back Tones, the surveyed operators overwhelmingly indicated that video conferencing, video sharing and video advertising will have the most impact on their ability to generate additional service revenue. These video services all require an IMS MRF

Sponsored Content

IMS REvIvAL

Click to enlarge for video mixing, transcoding, transrating and streaming. The IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) is a service delivery architecture which is the foundation of LTE networks. Within the 3GPP standards for IMS is a dened role for the Media Resource Function (MRF) which simultaneously processes thousands of real-time audio and video packet streams, under the control of IMS application servers and Call Session Control Functions (CSCF). Operators are expanding their LTE rollouts to include IMS deployments, supporting cuttingedge IP-based services to defend their voice revenues from these OTT rivals. VoLTE is based on an

IMS architecture, with IP media processing delivered by the MRF. VoLTE is provided, alongside data and video, through a single IP-based converged packet core, driving CAPEX and OPEX savings, while freeing up 3G spectrum for future 4G growth. But offering VoLTE goes beyond simple point-topoint calling. VoLTE requires transcoding capabilities between the AMR-WB codec used in VoLTE and legacy codecs. It includes supporting audio VAS services in an IP environment, including audio ring-back tones, conferencing, advertising and IVR services. Radisys MRF is designed to support all these IMS requirements for VoLTE, RCS, and Video services. To date, Radisys MRF is participating in seven VoLTE trial deployments. Enabling operators to generate new revenue through VoLTE, RCS, and video value-added services is at the core of Radisys investments in its MRF product portfolio. Operator investments in LTE networks without an IMS services strategy is conceding high-margin service opportunities to non-operator players in the industry. Operators that invest in IMS services today will increase ARPU through the delivery of new revenue-generating services while improving the subscriber experience. For more information, visit www.radisys.com/mrf. l

Carriers began building IMS to unite the service silos in their networks, but that hasnt happened as envisioned.
KEVIN MITCHELL, DIRECTOR OF sOLUTIONs MARKETING AT ACME PACKET

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VoLTE E911 call to be established from Day One, the operator needs to do extensive interoperability testing between smartphones and location servers, said Ram Garapaty, senior product marketing manager at Spirent. Secure User Plane Location (SUPL) 2.0, with support for LTE, must be tested in both moving and xed scenarios. whether theyll use a solution based on User Plane or Control Plane. Both terms are considered generic to describe underlying technology, but in the context of location solutions, typically in the past, control plane was used for emergency positioning and user plane for non-emergency positioning, such as commercial location-based services, said Brock Butler, director of product marketing at Spirent. In LTE, its possible to do emergency services over user plane as well. Butler said that in legacy and LTE systems, he expects most UsER VS. CONTROL PLANE operators will support both user and Vendors say one of the decisions control plane. that carriers need to make is John Snapp, senior technical ofcer at Intrado, said hes worked with an unnamed operator that initially went in one direction, then switched course and now appears to be warming to both. It ends up becoming a really difcult decision, he said. I couldnt predict what theyre going to pick. However, he also sees operators eventually using both. For their part, vendors are keeping their solutions exible either way. And while the rst installments of E911 for wireless were notoriously long and painful, Snapp, a former wireless network operator system engineer, said he believes that MetroPCS started selling VoLTE-capable implementations for devices last August. VoLTE will be easier, although he concedes that operators probably wouldnt agree with his assessment. that lead to better location, although Release 9 includes a denition for Positioning Reference Signals. Operators in North America and elsewhere will be enabling OTDOA positioning by requiring user equipment to return PRS measurements along with eCID and A-GNSS, Butler said. OTDOA, eCID and A-GNSS will be mandatory for E911 calls made using VoLTE, he added. While expectations are high for location technologies to improve over time, including with the addition of more available satellites, the indoor problem still exists. Efforts are under way to change that, including with the idea of using Wi-Fi access points registered via a database, but that could prove problematic as people change residences. Another problem for operators is the ability to test their solutions indoors when many buildings are privately owned. Greg Turetzky, senior director in the CTO ofce of CSR, said he still advises people who live with young children or elderly people to keep

VoLTE, E911 & SMS: The Next Frontier


BY MONICa ALLe VeN

VOICE QUALITY

Extensive testing is necessary for E911 calls can be enabled when an operator launches VoLTE. The wireless industry learned a lot from its earlier deployments of E911, but its still learning as it transitions to the next generation of voice and data services. Fortunately this time around, PSAPs are undergoing a big change of their own, moving to Next Generation 911 (NG 911). Finally, the types of geewhiz capabilities seen on TV shows like CSI are closer to real life. Theres also the expectation that this go-round, public safety and commercial location-based services (LBS) will be delivered from a single platform rather than being treated as separate entities.

BIG SwITCH

Operators that launched the rst-generation LTE smartphones use circuit switched fallback (CSFB) for voice services, so the calls fall back to the legacy GSM or CDMA networks, and thats how they support 911 calls. But the picture changes in a big way when operators are ready to leave the legacy networks behind. Vendors say E911 calls on VoLTE networks must be enabled on Day One theres no falling back. For a
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Before handsets are certied to operate on networks and make 911 calls, they need to go through vigorous testing. Spirents testing services are used to make sure LTE handsets will deliver carriergrade voice services before theyre introduced to the market. Battery performance is an issue as well. Spirent conducted tests on two smartphones, the rst-generation LG Connect 4G VoLTE device and the second-generation LG Spirit 4G VoLTE smartphone on MetroPCS network in Dallas and found that the newer device showed a 35 percent improvement in power consumption over the previous generation when making a VoLTE call. Delivering VoLTE raises a series of technical challenges arising from the complex LTE network and its integration with the legacy 3G network, as well as from codecs, voice enhancement devices (VEDs) such as noise reduction and echo cancellation and other factors, according to Irina Cotanis, principal technologist at Ascom Network Testing. However, shes optimistic that when all is said and done and the market matures, VoLTE voice quality will be better than 3G.

their landlines in order to improve their chances of being found quickly and accurately when dialing 911 in an emergency. Hes a member of the Communication Security and Reliability Interface Council (CSRIC) working group tasked with the goal of helping the FCC develop policies around indoor 911. continued on page 19

LOCATION, LOCATION

Pinpointing the end users location more accurately is another issue. Most calls to 911 are done indoors, yet accurately ascertaining a callers location inside buildings when theyre unable to communicate remains a problem. Vendors say theres nothing inherent in the VoLTE specications

Delivering VoLTE raises a series of technical challenges arising from the complex LTE network and its integration with the legacy 3G network.
IRINA COTANIs, PRINCIPAL TECHNOLOGIsT AT AsCOM NETWORK TEsTING

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Continuity (SRVCC) standard, with components from several different vendors. Acme Packet, Ericsson, Huawei, NSN, Qualcomm and Sony Mobile were among the companies involved in that project. The handover initially was conducted in a test lab in Germany. Telefnica noted that while there has been recent progress with VoLTE technology in South Korea and the United States, those networks were not able to hand over a VoLTE call to 2G or 3G when moving out of LTE coverage. That means most networks fall back to a legacy 2G/3G network whenever they make or receive a voice call or as is the case with South Korea, stay within the LTE network. Analysts speculate such a handover may be more important for European operators because they are not in as big a hurry to let go of legacy networks and refarm spectrum to LTE as they are in the United States. Hence, subscribers may be more likely to cross between LTE and 3G while engaged in a call. Either way, operators around the world are expected to continue toward VoLTE. Phil Kendall, director of Strategy Analytics Wireless Operator Strategies program, expects todays VoLTE-leading operators will be joined by a wave of mobile operators globally over the next 24 months as they look to secure and evolve their communications businesses for the years to come. l

continued from page 6 trials are still under way. Company spokesman Steve Carlson declined to comment further.

Considerations for Subscriber QoECentric VoLTE Service Performance


BY DR. IRINa COTaNIS, ASCOm Ne T WORK TeSTING

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PURE HANDOFFs

Outside the United States, operators in South Korea launched VoLTE services last year. Telefnica used its presence at Mobile World Congress 2013 to show off what it called pure voice over LTE, which it said is able to make connections in 0.25 seconds or 20 times faster than a standard 3G call. In February, Telefnica Deutschland claimed the title of the rst network provider in the world to demonstrate handover of LTE calls to 3G using the Single Radio Voice Call

VoLTE Testing from the Users Perspective


TEMS INVESTIGATION TEMS POCKET

TEMS DISCOVERY

Click to enlarge As mobile operators deploy Voice over LTE (VoLTE), testing is crucial for ensuring services that equal the quality that subscribers expect from circuit-switched (CS) calls. Challenges to delivering this level of quality emanate from the performance of the radio access, the IP core, and the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) networks, as well as from end-user devices. The real-time nature of voice service requires RTP transport involving re-transmissions at the radio link and medium access layers, which, if not carefully optimized, can result in latency and packet loss, deteriorating the voice quality. Packets lost or received out of order due to IP congestion have the same negative impact. VoLTE call continuity to/from legacy 2G/3G networks is ensured by eSVRCC functionality, which needs to exhibit handover interruptions of less than 100-150ms to not be perceived by users. Additionally, to meet
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requirements for latency of less than 100ms and packet loss of under 1%, an EPS dedicated GBR bearer with QCI =1 is established for VoLTE service. The VoLTE call setup and control is based on SIP signaling transported by error-safe TCP and is provided with a default EPS non-GBR bearer, but with low latency and very low packet loss (QCI=5). The registration to the IMS voice service delivery relies on SIP and diameter signaling for mobility, roaming, scalability, and security, placing additional demands on provisioning voice call setup and control. Devices implement nonstandardized VoLTE clients with complex time scaling error concealment for residual losses and delay compensation. The LTE radio is highly non-linear when compared with WCDMA, requiring acoustic echo cancellers to conceal a larger range of delays and attenuations.

Additionally, only devices supporting the eSRVCC feature and all VoLTE required capabilities (e.g., DRX for battery life) can ensure a fully optimized VoLTE protocol stack. Therefore, operators must test VoLTE call setup and control performance and evaluate the call quality, while being able to perform QoE-centric VoLTE troubleshooting and testing as a user, with the ultimate goal of ensuring an optimal VoLTE protocol stack. Ascom Network Testing helps operators to achieve these goals. Call setup and control is tested and evaluated by tracking SIP/ IMS registration procedures based on which SIP statistics are calculated, as well as by QCI allocation verication for both the default and dedicated EPS VoLTE bearers. Ascom solutions evaluate the voice QoE (MOS), and correlate it with packet loss, jitter, delay, and handover interruptions, as well as radio parameters and layer 3 messaging, for automated VoLTE troubleshooting, helping operators to optimize the VoLTE protocol stack and deliver the voice service performance and quality that subscribers expect. Pioneering QoE-centric VoLTE call evaluation, Ascom tests like a user, using device-based VoLTE clients for call control monitoring, from the physical layer all the way up to the SDP and to the application layer (AMR-WB codec setup). This enables operators to cost-effectively identify and address quality degradation sources, and do so from the subscribers perspective. Learn more. l

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packaged as a new services suite. Not having to download RCS applications like traditional app downloads might help users clean up their smartphones, and change how users access mobile data services.

continued from page 7 have been taking a bite out of their dwindling voice revenue. They will want to position VoLTE as a fundamental rst-line voice service, not like the VoIP alternatives, said Monica Zethzon, head of IMS sales at Ericsson. Zethzon said that despite the excitement around VoLTE trials and early limited commercial deployments, it is still too early to see a clear trend in how carriers will market and monetize VoLTE. We are probably a year or more from nding out a lot of detail about how VoLTE is marketed, she said. There are likely to be different approaches from different operators, though some of them may want to launch VoLTE as part of a broader rollout of more applications. For them, it will be part of a broader Rich Communication Services rollout. This includes services such as group chat, video calling, presencebased applications and even video mail. In some cases, operators may look to deploy VoLTE as a sort of pilot service, and choose to follow up with more RCS applications a few months later. In other cases, VoLTE and other RCS solutions could be rolled out all at the same time. These RCS applications in many cases could be accessible through a browser via the Web Real Time Communications protocol, and

Accelerate Service Delivery Build your Agile Network

SEPARATE VOLTE BRANDs UNLIKELY

Carriers such as Vodafone and MetroPCS already have offered RCS-Enhanced services under the Joyn brand, and it is not likely that individual carriers will try to create separate brand awareness of VoLTE, said Ian McClain, director of corporate strategy and marketing at Mavenir Systems. They will more likely just say, Im building a newer, better network, and that will be part of the reasoning for charging customers more for their data plans, McClain said. Zethzon agreed, saying VoLTE could prove to be an example of how to use innovation to retain customers, and build more value into existing offerings, an indirect sort of monetization. VoLTE arrives at a pivotal time, as average revenue per user for data services has just begun to

There are likely to be different approaches from different operators, though some of them may want to launch VoLTE as part of a broader rollout of more applications.
MONICA ZETHZON, HEAD OF IMS sALEs AT ERICssON

surpass ARPU for voice services. Voice ARPU has been under pressure, so with VoLTE you turn voice into a data service and shift an area of declining revenue into an area of revenue growth, said Kevin Mitchell, director of solutions marketing at Acme Packet. In addition to spurring revenue growth by opening the door to new RCS applications, and protecting existing revenue channels, launching VoLTE also could prove to be a turning point for carriers in their ability to support services across different network types to different kinds of devices. VoLTE is really a foundation for how to support services in an all-IP environment, McClain said. In that kind of environment, the objective for operators will be to deliver services to devices beyond the mobile network by decoupling service delivery from the device, so you can deliver a service to a phone or a TV or a tablet. It brings you closer to the cloud model for delivering advanced services. l

There has never been a more exciting time for service providers rushing to deliver value generating services, or a more challenging one. Faced with declining ARPU and challenges from over-the-top services, service provider strategists are racing to modernize their networks while managing the mind-numbing complexity of traditional IMS architectures. How do you design and build an agile network, that can be deployed in a matter of months versus years, while maintaining the flexibility to grow and evolve without re-architecting? It starts with changing your perspective on traditional telco infrastructure models.

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FierceWireless
carriers talk about voice, what they really mean is carrier-grade voice, so that is the ultimate factor for them. Acme Packets Mitchell added that some carriers are deploying VoLTE because they no longer want to run voice as a circuit-switched service. One motivator for VoLTE is that a carrier might want to shut down its voice network to reduce cost of ownership, Mitchell said. Once they move voice to LTE, they can think about doing that. Another reason for carriers to have an integrated VoLTE/IMS strategy is the array of service possibilities beyond simple voice calling that can leverage IMS resources and capabilities. For instance, as carriers deploy VoLTE, they also have development of IMS-based Rich Communication Services in mind. These RCS apps may include video calling, video sharing and others that integrate voice into a data application. Some mobile carriers may have yet to deploy IMS architectures, perhaps deterred by the cost of such projects. That could mean they end up tackling deployment of IMS, VoLTE and RCS as a comprehensive integrated strategy. But, VoLTE can be the gateway service that helps them feel more condent about doing that. VoLTE is really a nice business case for IMS, said Alcatel-Lucents Elkin. IMS bridges telecom and Web with support for Web Real Time Communications, and VoLTE provides the clear answer to the question of how to monetize IMS. l
2013 Anritsu Company

continued from page 9 IR.92 gave everyone in the industry a common implementation method to aim for, Elkin said. That way, you dont get locked into a particular handset or one vendors particular method. The value of using IMS for VoLTE is that with tight integration with IMS you get better quality of service. With video, a little bit of latency is okay, but with voice, the human ear needs latency, and IMS ensures that. He added, IR-92 also includes radio layer optimization so you can move within a cell and not sacrice power efciency. Without it, you would have less power efciency as you moved toward the edge of the cell.

Mobile Device Solutions

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IMS IsNT THE ONLY OPTION

MD8475A Signal Quality Analyzer

There are alternatives to voice in an LTE environment without IMS integration. Those alternatives include LTE operators potentially supporting voice via their own overthe-top VoIP apps, or carrying voice on LTE with fall-back to the 3G circuit-switched network. However, VoIP apps may come across as nothing more than me-too counter-attacks on VoIP competitors, and too much reliance on circuit-switched would mitigate the value of having a converged LTE network. If you do circuit-switched fall-back, when your voice session falls back to 3G, your data session does, too, and you lose that 4G experience, said Manish Singh, chief technology ofcer at Radisys. Singh added that a variety of approaches will be used by different carriers at rst, but that eventually most carriers will do VoLTE over IMSas long as carrier-grade quality can be proven. When
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The MD8475 Signaling Tester


is an all-in-one base station simulator supporting LTE FDD and TDD, W-CDMA/HSPA Evolution, TD-SCDMA, GSM/(E)GPRS, and CDMA2000 1X/1XEV-DO Rev. A. It supports functional and application tests for multimode LTE smartphones and devices with excellent an cost-performance ratio.
> Windows 7-based instrument supports internal or external installation

When carriers talk about voice, what they really mean is carrier-grade voice, so that is the ultimate factor for them.
MANIsH SINGH, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER AT RADIsYs

of application servers and control of other instruments

> Smart Studio GUI supports easy setup of single and multi-cell test

environments Inter-RAT Handover, CS-Fallback, eCS-Fallback, Redirection, and Reselection are All Available

> LTE data throughput up to 150 Mbps (downlink) and 50 Mbps (uplink)
Scan the QR code to view details directly on your smartphone

> Built-in Call Session Control Function (CSCF) server supports VoLTE

and testing of other Rich Communications Services (RCS) (42 MB/s)

> Support for both HSPA Evolution Rel. 7 and 8 including DC-HDSPA

Visit us at: www.goanritsu.com/FW8475 to download our FREE WHITE PAPER: Motivations for Enabling Voice over LTE.

USA/Canada 1-800-ANRITSU

Europe 44 1582-433433

Japan 81 (46) 223-1111

Asia-Pacific (852) 2301-4980

South America 55 (11) 3283-2511

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CAN YOUR NETWORK


Source: Spirent

continued from page 12

TEXT-TO-911

Late last year, the four biggest U.S. carriers struck an agreement with the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and the Association of Public Communications Ofcials (APCO) by which they agreed to make text-to-911 available to wireless subscribers by March 2014. Operators are at different stages of their ability to deploy 911. Intrados rst text-to-911

implementation, for example, was for Black Hawk County in Iowa. The FCC has acknowledged that deployment of text-to-911 wont be uniform, so its requiring bounce-back messages be sent to consumers who try to text to 911 before its ready. By June 30, 2013, the biggest operators need to implement these auto-reply messages. Text-to-911 will be especially useful for the deaf or hard-of-hearing callers, said Thomas Ginter, vice

president of product management, public safety at TeleCommunication Systems (TCS), which is Verizons vendor of choice for nationwide text-to-911 service. But as carriers and PSAPs move to next-generation systems, all kinds of use cases emerge, including the ability to immediately send a photo of a missing child to ofcers in the eld or give dispatchers the ability to see a prole of a confused or disabled caller who cant communicate effectively in an emergency. TCS describes its TCS Smart911, launched this year, as the public safety industrys rst nationwide solution providing enhanced information during emergency communications that use text messaging. Its designed to give 911 operators access to a rich prole of information, including medical information, disabilities, photos, address details and other important response data provided and maintained by the citizens. l
Source: Spirent

BOOST THE BOTTOM LINE?

Monetize VoLTE & Mobile Video with Radisys MRF Solutions

perators that have rolled out LTE networks are now turning to VoLTE and Rich Communications Services (RCS) delivering HD voice, along with value-added services such as video ringback tones, Interactive Voice and Video Response (IVVR), or mobile conferencing.

IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architectures, with a versatile Radisys MRF that can process and transcode thousands of real-time audio and video media streams, are the underlying foundation to generate these differentiated service revenues, and help operators monetize their networks beyond LTE data plans.

Download our White Paper: www.radisys.com/PersonalizedVoLTEandMobileVideo and find out how Radisys MRF solutions provide full media processing support for Voice over LTE (VoLTE), Rich Communications Suite (RCS), and more.

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CLOsE

CLOsE

CLOsE

VoLTE Testing from the Users Perspective


TEMS INVESTIGATION TEMS POCKET

TEMS DISCOVERY