3G to VoLTE Roaming: Mitigate the Gap in Roaming Coverage

The recent news of large operators taking the steps to shut down their legacy 3G networks in order to free up spectrum and divert operating costs to 5G has drawn a lot of attention from the media who have portrayed this next step in the evolution of mobile as a “the sky is falling” moment, spiking concern for consumers across the globe.

For roaming consumers and businesses that use Voice over LTE (“VoLTE”) enabled devices from roaming partners who have not yet launched VoLTE, there is a solution to alleviate connectivity issues when the visited operator has retired their 3G networks.

For many global operators, the need to retire 2G and 3G networks is a result of necessity. Decommissioning legacy circuit switch networks like 3G frees up precious spectrum to accommodate increasing 4G and 5G bandwidth demands of mobile devices and Internet of Things (IoT) devices that are emerging across all verticals.

For mobile operators worldwide that still do not support VoLTE roaming, implementing a 3G to VoLTE roaming solution will ensure roaming subscribers using VoLTE-enabled devices seamlessly connect when roaming onto a visited operator’s network that has decided to retire or decommission their 3G networks. Implementing this solution ensures a better customer experience by avoiding disruptions when traveling for those roaming subscribers that do not have VoLTE roaming support.

With an effective 3G to VoLTE roaming product, both the visited and home network can maintain the method of roaming that best suit them, meeting the needs of both operators and end users. This includes facilitating voice and short message service (SMS) and the clearing, settlement, and near-trade as well for a full end-to-end solution.

For more than three decades Syniverse has managed the transition from each generation of mobile network technologies. With Syniverse Evolved Mobility, we continue to drive innovation and interoperability across the mobile ecosystem. We offer guaranteed quality- of-service features along with a knowledgeable customer support department with technical expertise, along with an extensive offering of innovative and forward-thinking solutions supporting 4G, VoLTE, and 5G services.

Syniverse’s 3G to VoLTE Roaming is the only solution that allows the visited network to continue to focus strictly on VoLTE roaming while the home network focuses strictly on 3G voice calling. Neither the visited nor home operator has to change their behavior to benefit from Syniverse’s solution.

At MWC Barcelona in February 2022, I met with several operator customers that are currently retiring or planning to retire their 3G networks. The continued development and adoption of 5G networks is helping to generate more attention within the operator ranks around developing a plan to successfully bridge the gap that will occur as they implement 5G and shutdown 3G.

This topic was further explored at Wholesale Agreement and Solutions (WAS) Group where AT&T gave an overview of how they used the Syniverse Evolved Mobility solution as a way to mitigate the gap in roaming coverage after shutting down their 3G. This was extremely well-received, and many operators now feel a sense of relief that the solution they’d been hearing about actually works, is in production, and AT&T is evangelizing this. Some of the operators we spoke to were nervous about the US shutdowns and some were more concerned about their own shutdown, but all operators came away with confidence that Syniverse Evolved Mobility will ease their concerns.

Learn more by watching the video below:

As Director of IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) Services, Brian oversees the IMS services and enabling technologies that reside on Syniverse’s IPX network – including VoLTE (Voice over LTE), VoWiFi (Voice over Wi-Fi), RCS (Rich Communications Services), video and routing. His career includes a long history in technology development and innovation, with over 10 years at Syniverse. Prior to taking on his latest role, in 2016, Brian served as Senior Technology Manager of Next-Generation Solutions and managed solutions for Syniverse’s IP Services Hub. Before those roles, he worked in Syniverse’s research and development groups, planning, building, and evangelizing new products and services. Since joining Syniverse in 2005, Brian has worked extensively with IMS and next-generation messaging, leading the technical aspects of the Fixed Mobile Convergence Alliance (FMCA) global presence and IMS trials. He also has been involved in RCS since 2009 and VoLTE since 2011, and has attended a number of industry conferences and work groups on these technologies. Brian holds an M.S. in computer science and a B.S. in biology from the University of Tennessee.

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