Many hundreds of millions of VoLTE-capable mobile phones are already being used by consumers and served by mobile networks delivering voice calls over LTE. The Internet of Things (IoT) device market is also expected to grow significantly in the coming years. This also opens an interesting segment for operators to explore further: voice communication services for cellular IoT devices.
Some IoT services would require the possibility to include a basic voice connection to utilize the full benefits of IoT connectivity and deliver the best user experience. One example use case is assistance communication services, for example, when it is easier to talk to a person to explain what you need help with, such as in a broken elevator or simply when the coffee machine is broken.
The technology to enable this is here now: Cat-M1 (LTE Category M1). This is a radio technology that offers benefits such as high mobility, low cost, wide coverage, flexible deployment and low latency. By adding VoLTE support to Cat-M1, IoT devices that have implemented this technology have the capability to make operator voice calls.
If you did not have the chance to visit Mobile World Congress in Shanghai June 2017, you can now see the VoLTE for Cat-M1 demonstration that we performed there together with China Unicom and Qualcomm. We have implemented the same demo at Ericsson’s headquarters in Sweden, so now you can also see it in this video recording.
The demonstration in the video is run over Ericsson’s network in Stockholm, and it uses the latest Ericsson virtual IMS, EPC, UDM, LTE RAN and Massive IoT software. This software is available for commercial deployments now, and you can get support to deploy it with the newly launched Massive IoT network services from Ericsson. This functionality will also continue to evolve in upcoming software releases to improve the technology and user benefits even further.
Read more about how communications services evolve, and how to evolve yours.
Or visit us in Stockholm and try the demo live.