A well-tought article discussing the main VoLTE issue: complexity with the value added of discussing its uncertain current and future business model. First, we liked the fact that someone finally is able to state some truths as they are when it comes to VoLTE. Usually VoLTE is described as a must solution if operators want to improve LTE network services. Also, we are constantly being told that it voice quality us superior to circuit switch and thus users use more the voice services when audio quality improves. Also, VoLTE is portrayed as the solution to fight over the top (OTT) VoIP services. Many reports suggest that VoLTE no only offers better voice quality than Skype or WhatsApp, but also is more convenient for users as there is interoperability between devices and networks. All of them are probably true to some degree, but, and this is a big but, there certain aspects of VoLTE that make it less appealing.
Turns out VoLTE is a complex solution each operator may deploy differently. It is based on a standard with too many implementation options which in turn makes some networks difficult to interconnect. We do not need to look further to find who is responsible for making complex and expensive standards: 3GPP and GSMA. While the industry keeps developing standards and architectures that are complex, OTTs keep advancing with simplicity, updating their apps with new features and capabilities users adopt on the fly.
On the bonus side, the article points out that roaming will be difficult to achieve with VoLTE and perhaps operators should start asking themselves: why bother? In the data driven world, isn't roaming almost dead already?
This article provides also some indirect hints as to why VoLTE might not be so fierce to fight OTTs as operators want to use the business model attached to the circuit switch calls for a packet based voice and video service. Recently, I heard in a conference on IoT that it is wiser to have a model based on a platform and service than on a product, because the owner of the platform can offer the product for free while it charges for the service. And this is exactly what the problem is with VoLTE, it should not be a product as circuit switch calls were, it should be a platform to develop new business models.
VoLTE – Complexity, Complexity, Complexity —
A lot has been written about the imminent rise of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and the impact it could have on the customer experience. But many questions still remain in the minds of mobile operators relating to the necessity of even launching and supporting international VoLTE.
Specifically, what is VoLTE’s real global potential? How should operators deal with the whole complexity of providing VoLTE-based services in a global environment? And last but not least, what real and radical impact will VoLTE have on their business models going forward?
My first post in a three-part series on this topic will outline my views on the different complexities that come with offering and supporting international VoLTE termination, roaming and service mashup … Keep reading the original post here