Ericsson sees rise in Wi-Fi calling devices after interoperability tests with MediaTek

Ericsson said the availability of Wi-Fi calling compatible mobile devices will be boosted by a collaboration with Taiwan-headquartered chipset vendor MediaTek.

The infrastructure vendor announced that it has completed interoperability testing of its evolved packet core and IP multimedia subsystem with the chip maker, explaining that the testing clears the way for more Wi-Fi calling capable devices to be brought to market.

The interoperability tests covered the device's ability to register with the network, idle mode, and active call mobility between Wi-Fi and LTE, SMS, voice and video calls, and access to emergency services via Wi-Fi.

Ericsson said the trials ensure that Wi-Fi calling over mobile networks works seamlessly, explaining that the technology is a cost effective means for operators to boost their voice coverage.

While Ericsson stated its interoperability testing with MediaTek would boost the availability of "more commercial Wi-Fi calling enabled smartphone brands and models for more markets," the vendor also explained that the tests would also benefit operators in markets where penetration of such high-end devices is currently low.

The vendor added that Wi-Fi calling also opens the door to connecting more than just mobile phones. Operators can use the technology to offer voice services on "tablets, computers and other personal devices," it stated. The broader range of devices than can be connected will also open the door for operators to offer lower-cost voice connections for roaming subscribers, Ericsson said.

European operators' interest in Wi-Fi calling increased through 2015, with several companies announcing trials or deployments of the technology. For example, UK operators EE and Vodafone UK launched Wi-Fi calling services, while Polish operator Polkomtel trialled a voice-over-Wi-Fi product from Nokia.

The growth in popularity follows many years when operators blocked voice-over-Wi-Fi and other VoIP services due to concerns such technologies would erode their revenues by taking traffic off mobile networks.

For more:
- see this Ericsson announcement

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