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Do you know how to improve your voice services offering to improve customer experience using all the benefits of VoLTE? Did you know that to launch 5G smartphones, you also need to have deployed VoLTE first to also enable 5G voice?

According to the November Ericsson Mobility Report, the number of voice over LTE (VoLTE) subscriptions will be close to 1.4 billion by the end of 2018. VoLTE has now been launched in more than 155 networks in over 75 countries, and the number increases by the month. The number of VoLTE subscriptions is projected to reach 6 billion by the end of 2024, accounting for around 90 percent of combined LTE and 5G subscriptions.

VoLTE subscriptions by region Ericsson Mobility Report november 2018

Modernize your voice services offering with 5G on the horizon

Are you one of those 155 service providers that already launched VoLTE, or did you just start considering this? For all service providers, there are new opportunities to look into to further improve the voice user experience today, and with 5G on the horizon, it is becoming even more important to deploy VoLTE. Modernize your voice services offering to your customers and enable a better voice quality experience, and also expand it beyond just smartphones. You can enable voice calls using the same phone number as on a smartphone on devices such as smartwatches, tablets, IoT devices, smart speakers, and other unheard-of gadgets.

The human "voice interface" will be used in more and more use-case scenarios in the future, for example, when talking to AI services. The basic human need of talking in real time with high quality on mobile devices with people will still remain, and there are opportunities to make that experience even better than what it is today.

5G smartphones will still need a voice service

5G will cover 40% of the population in 2024 and the first 5G networks are starting to be launched now. 5G smartphones will also need a voice service. It may sound very basic to say that a 5G phone should be able to make voice calls, but that is actually a lot more complex to deploy in the network than you would probably imagine! It will take some time before 5G is deployed with wide coverage; therefore, there is a need to interwork with existing 4G networks.

From the user perspective, it is the same voice service being offered regardless whether it's on LTE or 5G, and users expect seamless service continuity even when changing between LTE and 5G—no one likes dropped calls. So as a service provider, you also need to prepare for this and start considering how to make your mobile network handle 5G voice.

Learn more about why you should deploy VoLTE now, both to provide an improved communication services user experience today and also to prepare for 5G voice:

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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.