Syniverse is doing a well-intended effort to educate the market on VoLTE, a technology that the company defined as “a three-time complex” in a previous blog post covering VoLTE roaming. Despite its complexity, it seems there cannot be an argument about its implementation, operators needed because still voice is their main trademark (ESTO NO SE ENTIENDE). And perhaps, this is where all issues with VoLTE start. It is not that VoLTE is complex or even difficult to monetize looking at the long run, but the fact that operators are still perceived as being mostly voice providers that happen to offer access to data now. That is, if voice is mobile operators’ main competitive advantage today, they are in trouble.
Brazil’s economy is going through a recession, but its mobile operators are beefing up their 4G networks
Some are arguing that Brazil could be experiencing the worst economic recession in its history. This could be true but mobile operators have been expanding its 4G networks to improve all its metrics: coverage, speed, capacity and latency. It seems that the World Cup and the Olympics have had a tremendous impact on the telecom infrastructure, now we hope those reports that correlate mobile infrastructure with economic prosperity are right.
There are technologies, such as LTE-Direct (Release 12) that sound like a great idea, but the industry does not seem to care much about them. Some technologies successes are clearly dependent on device manufacturers and, when this is the case, operators have a tough time to decide when it is the right moment to invest in them. It is happening with LTE-Broadcast and also with LTE-Direct. This scenario is not going to change any time soon as the market for devices is so competitive that for a manufacturer to add extra cost to its own devices with an extra feature, there must be a clear user demand for such feature; otherwise, they have no incentive whatsoever. But users have no way to try a new services if device manufacturers do not offer compatible devices; network operators have no incentive to launch the technology. If this feels like the catch-22 paradox, it is because LTE-Direct is a catch-22 situation.
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