Last week’s announcement that BICS, together with its partners, has achieved the world’s first successful international VoLTE call marks an important step in the journey to stimulate international operator revenues in this era of increased regulation.
Earlier this year, BICS CEO Daniel Kurgan discussed the increased opportunity for innovation in the new regulatory environment, especially in Europe. This is demonstrated by the appetite for VoLTE, which promises to reinvigorate the voice market in the same way LTE roaming has pushed forward the adoption of data roaming for international travellers. Quality of experience is the key here.
BICS anticipates significant VoLTE traffic on its network by the end of next year as the number of operators offering the service domestically increases. This will be the catalyst for service providers to expand this offering to incorporate international calls and eventually to inbound and outbound roamers. Next generation services improve both experience for the end customer – driving increased usage – and profitability for the operator.
Crucially, these services cannot be matched by players without robust network infrastructure in place. The first international VoLTE call connected users in South Korea and Belgium using the BICS and SK Telink IPX networks. This relation provides a long-lasting, high definition, low latency, next generation enhanced voice service for customers on the Proximus and SK Telecom networks.
Interworking and roaming calls are processed through the BICS IPX VoLTE hub, enabling mobile operators to offer IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) services ubiquitously. The hub is empowered with intelligent routing, commercial transparency, protocol normalisation and media transcoding capabilities, which are vital in maintaining the high definition sound quality of VoLTE calls.
As operators continue to roll-out these services, the number of destinations available for international VoLTE will increase drastically, enabling the highest quality voice calls to be available to all major telecoms markets.
Services provided through IPX are also extremely robust as customers are dynamically switched back to 3G or 2G services should the person receiving the call be outside of VoLTE network reach or be using a legacy handset, further increasing the scope and business case for the service. In addition to the newly-launched interworking service, the IPX VoLTE hub is also able to offer three critical VoLTE roaming models – Local Break with Home, Visited Based Routing and S8 Home
Routing and will support fully enhanced IMS based services including Video over LTE and Rich Communication Services (RCS).
The development of VoLTE internationally provides a new dawn in the battle for operators to increase revenues from international calls even in an era of increased price pressure brought about by regulation and increased market competition.
As the use case of mobile data has proved, when consumers experienced high speed data access, usage spikes drastically. VoLTE will be no different, and this demand does not stop when calling outside of the home country.
An article by Divya WAKANKAR, Head of Innovation and LTE Product Management | 7th of September 2015