Would you like to be able to be reached on your mobile number, independent of where you are and which device you are using, for example, via your smartwatch or other wearables when you are out jogging or doing other sports—leaving your smartphone behind? Or would you like to be reached or make a call when you simply have forgotten your smartphone at home or when the battery on your smartphone ran out?
You could provide your young children with a smart and simple armband, so they could easily call you without carrying or losing a big phone. Elderly people could use a necklace, watch, or other wearable device to always be able to call for help in emergency situations.
For operators, this means an opportunity to provide a more flexible voice service and thereby increase customer loyalty.
What requirements are put on the devices?
The mobile devices used need to have Multi-SIM capability to be able to connect to the same mobile number. Multi-SIM capability for voice calls means that you can be reached via these devices without connecting via the smartphone. New smartwatches are now starting to be launched on the market, and you can expect a growing ecosystem of new types devices with these capabilities.
See more examples around wearable trends in the Ericsson ConsumerLab report Wearable technology and the IoT.
What is required from the network and how can the operator benefit from it?
This capability also requires that multi-SIM for voice calls is implemented in the operator's network. This can be done using a Voice over LTE (VoLTE) network that has implemented multi-SIM voice call functionality.
With the introduction of VoLTE, operators can leverage the all-IP based network architecture to ensure and improve voice quality, while also opening up for a broader range of communication capabilities such as video calling, multi-device support, and multi-SIM support. This will potentially increase the voice traffic, but above all it will increase customer loyalty and reduce churn. The fact that new types of devices are connected to the operator's network could also mean a potential for new types of services yet to be defined and, thereby, potential new revenue opportunities
VoLTE networks are being deployed globally and the technology has now been launched commercially in more than 125 networks. Uptake is projected to accelerate and reach 5.5 billion by the end of 2023, making up more than 80 percent of all LTE and 5G subscriptions globally, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report 2017.
What is Ericsson doing in this space?
Ericsson has developed new VoLTE-based core network multi-SIM voice call functionality that also works for devices connected via Wi-Fi. The VoLTE solution with multi-SIM voice call functionality has already been deployed with over 10 service providers.