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Get the latest updates about VoLTE delivering high-quality voice services in LTE networks today, on all kinds of devices for consumers and enterprise users. The next step is to start exploring the role of voice and communication services in 5G networks.

Many operators have already transformed or are in the process of transforming their current circuit-switched voice networks to VoLTE, to build an IP-based platform for today’s and future voice services and other communication services for consumers and enterprise users.

With well over 125 deployed VoLTE networks globally (see GSMA statistics), the market is maturing. Now there are new opportunities to explore when it comes to just plain vanilla voice over LTE. You can also add other use cases to make the user experience more delightful. With VoLTE, you get HD voice quality by default on your LTE smartphone, and now you can also bring this reliable and high-quality voice service to more types of devices and for more kinds of use cases to provide a more flexible user experience.

Examples of voice service use cases beyond smartphones

Here are some examples of how to use voice services in a broader context when you have already deployed VoLTE in your network:

  • Multi-device: Use your mobile phone number as your unique identity and make and receive voice calls and SMS not only on your smartphone, but also on tablets, smart speakers, smartwatches, tablets, and web clients.
  • Multi-SIM: Make and receive voice calls using the same mobile phone number on all your devices that include SIM cards (physical SIM or eSIM), both on your smartphone and, for example, on your new cellular smartwatch.
  • Multi-persona: Use several phone numbers on one smartphone, such as your private number, work number, home number, and temporary phone numbers, for example, when selling your car online.

These are all services use cases that can be launched today, as long as device vendors support the functionality. There are already examples of operators that have launched these types of use cases in commercial service. You can already start deploying voice services on all kinds of Cat-M1 VoLTE enabled IoT devices to address the enterprise segment.

Ericsson Future Digital Deliver high quality voice services in LTE today and be prepared for 5GI will also write a few more blogs and share some video clips of live demonstrations from Mobile World Congress on some of the use cases described above that you can deploy today. So stay tuned and follow this blog if you want to see these videos.

VoLTE will also be used as the foundation for voice services in 5G networks

These are some examples of what you can already do today with VoLTE, and it is a future-proof foundation, because VoLTE will also be brought into 5G networks. 3GPP standardization for 5G has ensured that VoLTE (IMS-based) voice services will be delivered over 5G access.

The aim is, of course, that operators should be able to leverage technology they have already deployed in their networks, as far as this is possible, to save costs and re-use competence and experiences. Common industry agreement has now been reached that VoLTE (packet switched voice services as defined in the GSMA IR.92 VoLTE specification), will also be used as the technology foundation to enable voice calls over 5G access.

The promise of 5G will bring both new business opportunities as well as network evolution deployment requirements for voice services, such as considering additional frequencies, coverage, mobility scenarios, device capabilities, and so on.

Enabling of services will require collaboration between industry players

Concepts and buzz words are already flying around when it comes to what 5G could bring as far as communication services aspects, for example, virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D calling, immersive viewing, HD conferencing, 360-degree video communication, hologram communication, and more.

Enabling these kind of services will require many industry players to collaborate and work together to overcome the technological challenges and to deliver services with viable service provider business cases, if these are to become mass-market services. Some service providers will, of course, want to offer unique 5G-based use cases and services for industrial and enterprise use cases, but these would often also require several industry players to join forces.

Do you want to know more about the the latest end-user services and voice network evolution aspects in LTE, Wi-Fi, and 5G networks?

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Kati Öhman

Kati Öhman

Kati Öhman is Marketing Manager for Communication Services in Ericsson Business Area Digital Services. Kati has 20 years of experience in the Telecommunications industry, within radio and core networks and has worked with marketing for the past 10 years. She has specialized in marketing the evolution of telephony services and worked on creating market interest for the VoLTE technology in mobile networks, which is also used in the latest smartphones and other consumer devices. She is now exploring how this will play a role for service providers in 5G networks. Kati has a Master of Science from KTH Stockholm and a B.Sc. in Finance from Stockholm University.