The implementation of VoLTE offers many benefits and mobile operators are pursuing opportunities with VoLTE to increase revenues, optimize network efficiency, improve operating models, and deliver better voice-quality services to end users. For instance, VoLTE calls now make up 80% of all voice calls on the T-Mobile US network. Ensuring these services, however, is challenging.
In a recent report, Ovum Consulting took a closer look at the difficulties in providing good call quality over an IP infrastructure such as VoLTE, and suggested strategies for potentially ensuring fault-free calling for customers.
According to Ovum, “the quality of any voice service over an IP infrastructure (as in the case of VoLTE) are more susceptible to problems and delays over the entire network (radio network, transmission, core, and application services) than the mature traditional cellular voice services.”  Ovum points out a number of factors that affect QoE including:
- The health of the IP Multimedia Systems (IMS) infrastructure
- VoLTE coverage
- Interoperability between operator networks
- Device compatibility
Moreover, Ovum points out, given that VoLTE deployments are not pervasive, VoLTE calls may be required to hand over calls to 2G or 3G legacy circuit-switched networks to ensure the continuity of calls.
Using big data analytics for improved VoLTE
Ovum concludes that “the siloed approach to network management would not work for VoLTE implementation. It is essential for CSPs to invest in tools that provide full visibility into all parts of the network to monitor and troubleshoot all service impacting issues. Being able to manage network performance in real time enables CSPs to deliver better experience to customers.”
One such tool is Ericsson Expert Analytics. The Ericsson solution measures end-to-end service quality in real time for a range of pre-built use cases including VoLTE, enabling service providers to proactively identify and resolve issues that affect customers. Ericsson has successfully deployed Ericsson Expert Analytics for T-Mobile US across their nationwide network of more than 72 million subscribers to drive customer experience to an entirely new level.
VoLTE deployment growth
Ovum forecasts that “VoLTE service deployments will continue to increase, albeit slowly, with connections expected to form a significant proportion of CSPs' total mobile connections by 2021.” The number of connections will rise from 324 million in 2016 to 3.3 billion in 2021, at a CAGR of 59%, says Ovum. VoLTE will account for more than 40% of the total of mobile connections.
As VoLTE services become increasingly critical to CSPs' business, Ovum recommends that they “take proactive steps by investing in tools that will assure the QoE of these services.” Ericsson Expert Analytics can help operators identify how to improve the quality of their LTE radio networks and VoLTE services.
Want to know more about factors, such as radio coverage, cell-edge coverage/capacity, and proper radio resource management that you should consider when designing and deploying VoLTE networks?