Forum finishes specs tackling voice over LTE issues - Mobile World Live

Forum finishes specs tackling voice over LTE issues

19 OCT 2009

Industry group the VoLGA (Voice over LTE via Generic Access) Forum today published its first complete set of approved specifications aimed at delivering mobile voice and SMS services over future LTE networks. The move is important as there is currently no single agreed way of providing voice and SMS capability on next-generation LTE networks. The all-IP nature of LTE means the technology does not support legacy circuit-switched voice and SMS services, a potentially thorny issue for mobile operators. There are a number of options available to operators attempting to overcome this issue: Circuit-switch-over-packet (supported by the VoLGA Forum); Circuit-switch fallback (where the older 2G/3G networks are used for voice services); and IMS technology. In addition, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) has proposed its own approach, which it calls Fast Track Voice over LTE. “VoLGA presents a viable way forward that doesn’t require a re-architecture of the network,” opines Brian Partridge, research director at Yankee Group, in a statement. “VoLGA potentially provides LTE operators with a low-cost method of getting voice and SMS – the two highest drivers of mobile revenues – onto LTE.”

The VoLGA Forum has already secured the backing of major infrastructure vendors, including such names as Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Nortel, Samsung and ZTE. NSN is working on its own solution, whilst it’s worth noting that although market leader Ericsson was mentioned in earlier press releases from the Forum, the Swedish vendor is absent from a list in today’s release. One definite downside for the group is that T-Mobile is the only operator member to date, although the Forum is keen to play down this issue. “One of the reasons you haven’t seen a lot of operators get behind VoLGA is because they are currently vetting a number of different solutions and gain nothing by publicly backing VoLGA at this stage in LTE’s development,” noted Yankee’s Partridge in the statement. “The work of the VoLGA Forum and the support of much of the LTE eco-system and T-Mobile will go a long way to ensure VoLGA gets a shot at providing the bridge that many LTE committed operators will require on the road to IMS.”



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