In just the last year, Voice over LTE, or VoLTE, has taken off as a service that is revolutionizing mobile communications, and 2017 is shaping up to be one of the biggest years yet for this next-generation service. VoLTE’s rapid growth, however, is revealing some crucial needs that mobile operators will need to address soon, and Syniverse recently had a chance to discuss these when we attended the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) 2017 Mobile Carriers Show in Las Vegas the other week.
The show, formerly known as CCA Global Expo, is a key conference for Syniverse that we look forward to each year. Hosted by the CCA, which represents nearly 100 wireless operators whose licensed areas cover more than 95 percent of the U.S., the show offers one of the few times of the year when we have the opportunity to connect with a lot of our customers at the same place as well as exchange insights with a number of industry peers.
This year, we had the opportunity to have several fascinating conversations on some of the latest issues and trends in mobile. In particular, one of our big areas of focus was our new IP Multimedia (IMS) Cloud solution that we just announced the week of the show.
Our IMS Cloud, IMS Exchange and IMS Roam services portfolio addresses a critical need for operators by enabling them to more quickly and cost-efficiently implement IMS-based services such as VoLTE and Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi), as well as Video over LTE (ViLTE) and Rich Communications Services (RCS). Demand for these rich services is expected to soar in the next few years, with VoLTE subscriptions predicted to reach 3.3 billion by 2022, and VoWiFi traffic expected to grow from 15 percent of all mobile IP voice traffic in 2015 to nearly 60 percent by 2020.
IMS offers an extremely versatile, open-standards-based architectural framework for delivering IP services. Importantly, a converged voice and data approach for mobile ensures maximum interoperability with technologies like VoLTE, VoWiFi, ViLTE and RCS, as well as maximum reuse of an operator’s existing network resources.
Deployment of IMS, however, can be complex and costly for many operators to purchase, implement and support. To address this, Syniverse IMS Cloud offers a relatively quick and cost-efficient solution to put in place for operators with limited capital and operational capabilities. The solution provides a versatile core platform for configuring VoLTE and VoWiFi services, and dovetails with other Syniverse IMS portfolio offerings to extend VoLTE interconnect (IMS Exchange) and roaming (IMS Roam) to reach operators around the world.
We had a productive time discussing use cases for these solutions with our customers at the Mobile Carriers Show, and we’re excited about the opportunity to help operators ramp up their rollout of these IMS-based services.
VoLTE and VoWiFi promise to open an exciting new era for operators. VoLTE will eliminate the need to have voice and data on separate networks while also enabling a rich multimedia voice experience. VoWiFi will open a service extension for operators by allowing them to bring their services to locations where cellular coverage doesn’t exist or is poor.
We’re looking forward to building on our experience at the Mobile Carriers Show and using our IMS solutions to play a key role in enabling this next phase of LTE.
Les Goldman is Senior Product Manager and works at Syniverse’s headquarters in Tampa, Florida.