LIVE FROM LTE WORLD SUMMIT 2015: Alain Maloberti, SVP of network architecture and design at Orange Group, urged the industry to continue developing 4G technology to meet evolving customer needs, warning that “we cannot stand still for five years in order to wait for 5G”.
“This is something we can do building on the tremendous success of the 4G launches all around the world, in order for 4G to evolve continuously and smoothly to the next big step, which will come with 5G,” he said.
“We should all be proud of this success. Now, is this sufficient? Of course, if I am asking this question, the answer is no,” he continued.
Describing LTE as “the foundation for new business opportunities”, Maloberti noted that more needs to be done with regard to voice, in order to enable operators to tap the opportunities that come through enhanced communications services.
“One of the big things currently for the industry is the rollout of voice over LTE, and at the same time voice over Wi-Fi, because the mechanisms are the same, which I must say as yet is not a plug-and-play story. The end-to-end tuning is long, we have to work a lot with device suppliers to see it is right,” he said.
In addition, “one of the things we still have to define is roaming in a voice over LTE situation, and this is something that has to be solved, and we should accelerate to find a solution”, he said (South Korea’s operators have successfully interconnected domestic VoLTE roaming, but international deals remain a way off).
“It is really, I think, with the rollout of voice over LTE that we are able to enrich all the set of communications – messaging, RCS, video – because we will have a truly all-IP system that will enable us to have this enrichment,” Maloberti continued.
Also needed are evolutions to support machine-to-machine applications, such as the need for long range and low power consumption, in low cost modules.
“We should not wait until 5G to get this. We have discussions underway in order to introduce things on 2G or 4G, and this is something we need to do,” he said.
With all of the talk about new opportunities and markets, the executive also reiterated the importance of getting the basics right.
“What is important to them is the quality of the network, and the quality of the network in the places where they spend most of their time,” he observed.