Analysys Mason VoLTE VoWiFi Whitepaper Mar2015 RMA01

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Transcript of Analysys Mason VoLTE VoWiFi Whitepaper Mar2015 RMA01

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    Whitepaper

    VoLTE and VoWi-Fi: crucial

    deployment and assurance

    considerations for operators

    March 2015

    Anil Rao

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    VoLTE and VoWi-Fi: crucial deployment and assurance considerations for operators | i

    © Analysys Mason Limited 2015 Contents

    Contents

    Executive summary 2 

    2 VoLTE uptake will increase with LTE but the business case remains unclear 3 

    The current state of LTE 3 2.1

      VoLTE forecast 3 2.2

      The cost of deploying IMS and technological complexity are inhibitors 4 2.3

    3 Operators must get it right first time 5 

    VoLTE increases network complexity and presents new assurance challenges 5 3.1

      Vigorous pre-launch service validation testing can mitigate the risks 6 3.2

      IP probes will be crucial for assuring VoLTE post-launch 6 3.3

    4 Operators should focus on a holistic customer experience 7 

    Deploy advanced analytics and service management applications to measure end-to-end QoS 7 4.1

     

    Compensate for poor coverage with small cells and VoWi-Fi 7  

    4.2

    5 Vendor solution overview  –  Polystar Group 8 

     Network and Customer Insight solutions 8 5.1

      Solver 9 5.2

      ODIN 10 5.3

    About Analysys Mason 11 

    About Polystar Group 12 

    List of figures

    Figure 1.1: VoLTE challenges [Source: Analysys Mason, 2015] .... ............................................................... . 2 

    Figure 2.1: LTE connections forecast [Source: Analysys Mason, 2015] .......................................................... 3 

    Figure 2.2: VoLTE connections forecast [Source: Analysys Mason, 2015] ..................................................... 4 

    Figure 2.3: Current state of VoLTE launches [Source: Analysys Mason, 2015] .............................................. 4 

    Figure 5.1:Polystar solution [Source: Polystar, 2015] ..................................................................................... . 8 

    Figure 5.2: Validation test methodology [Source: Analysys Mason and Polystar, 2015] ................................ 9 

    Figure 5.3: ODIN pre-IMS [Source: Polystar, 2015] ......................................................... ............................. 10 

    Figure 5.4: ODIN post-IMS [Source: Polystar, 2015] .................................................................................... 10 

    Analysys Mason does not endorse any of the vendor’s products or services discussed in this whitepaper.

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    © Analysys Mason Limited 2015 Executive summary

    1. Executive summary

    Voice over LTE (VoLTE), the next-generation voice service delivered over the LTE infrastructure, is slowly

    gaining traction. Many operators, especially in developed markets, have already launched the service, and many

    more in other markets are expected to follow as LTE penetration increases and coverage improves. Increased spectral efficiency and improved voice-domain efficiency are the main business benefits of migrating to

    VoLTE, in addition to the savings that can be achieved by retiring legacy 2G infrastructure. However, an

    uncertain business case and the high costs of deploying an IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) platform, the

     backbone of VoLTE, continue to be significant inhibitors, especially for Tier 2 and Tier 3 operators. 

    Despite the rise of data services, voice continues to be a significant source of revenue for mobile operators.

    Given the proliferation and consumer affinity for OTT voice and messaging services, the onus is firmly on the

    operators –  they cannot afford to go wrong with VoLTE. Exacerbating the situation is the technological

    complexity introduced by VoLTE. Single radio voice call continuity (SRVCC), for example, has been

    introduced to provide seamless voice service across both legacy and LTE networks. Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-

    Fi) offers another viable solution to the larger challenge of ensuring sufficient outdoor and indoor coverage, but will require additional call handover capabilities to VoLTE. Ultimately, operators should be aiming to

    collectively improve the user experience of the voice service.

    Figure 1.1: VoLTE challenges

     [Source: Analysys Mason,

    2015]

    Figure 1.1 summarises the challenges facing VoLTE. To counter some of these challenges, operators need a

    robust pre-launch test and validation strategy, and a post-launch comprehensive service assurance capability to

    assure end-to-end quality of service. Operators who want to launch VoLTE should consider cost-efficient and

    lightweight IMS solutions that can enable them to quickly deploy and offer the service, while providing a clear

    migration path to a full IMS solution.

    VoLTE

    challenges

    Technological

    complexity

    High deployment

    costs

    Ensuring QoS and

    customer experience

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    © Analysys Mason Limited 2015 VoLTE uptake will increase with LTE but the business case remains unclear

    2. VoLTE uptake will increase with LTE but the business case

    remains unclear

    The current state of LTE2.1

    VoLTE is the new incarnation of the native mobile voice service delivered over LTE networks. The last five

    years have seen significant investment in and proliferation of LTE networks with mobile operators in South

    Korea, Japan and later North America deploying LTE networks to accelerate the take-up of data services and

    increase revenue. The ability to create larger data allotments compared with 3G supported by ever more capable

    devices will continue to accelerate the uptake of LTE technology in emerging markets over the next five years. 

    At the end of 2014, there was an estimated 498 million LTE connections (handsets and mobile broadband), and

    this is expected to grow to 2.463 billion connections by 2019. 

    Figure 2.1: LTE

    connections forecast

     [Source: Analysys

    Mason, 2015]1 

    VoLTE forecast2.2

    Many LTE smartphones that were early entrants did not have native support for voice services and relied on the

    circuit-switched (CS) network to deliver voice and SMS services either by running two radios simultaneously or

    through the circuit-switched fallback (CSFB) mechanism. The 3GPP has specified a native LTE voice service, VoLTE, which includes SRVCC, a mechanism to interwork with existing network functions to provide service

    continuity both in terms of coverage (supporting voice services when outside LTE coverage) and also in terms

    of feature support (such as emergency calls, interconnection and roaming). 

    1 Refer to Global telecoms market: interim forecast update 2014–2019, available at

    http://www.analysysmason.com/Research/Content/Regional-forecasts-/Global-telecoms-forecasts-Feb2015-RDDG0

    498

    861

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    © Analysys Mason Limited 2015 VoLTE uptake will increase with LTE but the business case remains unclear

    By 2018, it is expected that about 600 million smartphone users worldwide will use VoLTE as their default

    voice service (Figure 2.2). Following from their leadership in LTE, the developed Asia – Pacific region and

     North America will maintain their lead in VoLTE. In other regions, limited LTE coverage will give operators

    little choice but to rely on 2G and 3G networks for voice services in the near term (Figure 2.3). 

    Figure 2.2: VoLTE connections forecast [Source:  Analysys Mason, 2015]2 

    Figure 2.3: Current state of VoLTE launches [Source:  Analysys Mason, 2015]

    The cost of deploying IMS and technological complexity are inhibitors2.3

    VoLTE promises important business benefits, prime among them are:

      Operators can achieve increased spectral efficiency because they can free up 2G and 3G carriers by

    moving voice traffic to LTE networks, freeing up capacity and allowing them to reuse the valuable

    spectrum for revenue-generating data services.

      Operators can harness increased efficiency in the voice domain because the LTE interface is very

    efficient and can support up to twice as many voice users in a given bandwidth (per megahertz) as circuit-

    switched services.

    Additionally, the higher voice quality promised by VoLTE adds impetus to the marketing position for operators,

    especially for those aiming to position the service against the established OTTs such as Skype, Viber, etc. Given

    the perceived benefits, one would expect a faster adoption of the VoLTE service. However, the roll-out of

    VoLTE services is not necessarily straightforward because it requires considerable