GSMA planning VoLTE 'how-to' guide for carriers

The GSMA will create an end-to-end implementation guide to help mobile operators better understand how to deploy VoLTE on their networks, according to a senior executive in the organization.

The planned guide will not recommend any particular VoLTE architecture but will detail advantages and disadvantages of various solutions, Dan Warren, GSMA senior director of technology, told The Mobile Network.

He said the GSMA hopes to ensure interconnection and interoperability between VoLTE services "Interconnect is the major one, so for instance you make sure the same QoS classes are supported where the traffic meets. You need to do it the same way," said Warren.

Warren explained that provisioning of circuit-switched fallback (CSFB) to support voice has contributed to delayed deployments of VoLTE. "The problem with CSFB is that it is a device and network implementation. So if you launch it and then you want to go to VoLTE you invest twice, you have to continue to support it whilst you're rolling VOLTE out as well, and consumers have to invest twice. The likelihood now is that CSFB will have a longer life in the market," he said.

So far, VoLTE has been implemented in South Korea by SK Telecom, KT and LG+ as well as in the United States by MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS).

During MetroPCS' fourth-quarter 2012 earnings call with analysts last week, company Chairman and CEO Roger Linquist revealed that VoLTE is operational in six MetroPCS markets and all handsets the operator launches going forward will be VoLTE compatible. "There were some concerns about voice quality," Linquist said, "but it's proving to be better than what we have seen on the CDMA network."

Also last week, Mary Chan, vice president of global connected consumer at General Motors, said one of the driving factors behind GM's decision to embed LTE modules in its cars and select AT&T (NYSE:T) as its partner in a revamped OnStar service was because the operator intends to roll out VoLTE technology sooner rather than later.

For more:
- see The Mobile Network article

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