SOURCE: 4G Americas

4G Americas

November 06, 2014 12:10 ET

VoLTE and RCS: Next Step for Communication and Messaging

4G Americas Provides Report on VoLTE and RCS Implementation

BELLEVUE, WA--(Marketwired - November 06, 2014) - 4G Americas, a wireless industry trade association representing the 3GPP family of technologies, including LTE and LTE-Advanced, today published the white paper, VoLTE and RCS Technology Evolution & Ecosystem, which describes in detail the recommendations and best practices for Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Rich Communications Service (RCS) implementations and offerings. VoLTE supports higher quality calls and faster call connections, and in combination with RCS, provides new features in three major service areas: telephony, messaging and contact management.

Operators in North America and Asia Pacific are beginning to launch VoLTE and more than 30 commercial networks with 51 million subscribers are expected worldwide by the end of 2014 according to Infonetics Research in a recent report. VoLTE deployments and connections are expected to accelerate in 2015 and beyond. In the U.S., both T-Mobile and AT&T launched VoLTE in May of this year and Verizon launched in September. Sprint is in a 'programming phase' for VoLTE and is expected to launch in 2015, and likewise, Rogers in Canada is expected to launch VoLTE soon.

VoLTE is a business solution that provides operators with a complete solution to evolve their voice business towards an all-IP communications network. This is achieved by evolving the installed base circuit switched core network towards an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) core network, which supports communication services like High Definition (HD) voice, video calling, Wi-Fi calling and RCS services. This is an end-to-end network infrastructure solution including IMS, Evolved Packet Core, LTE-Radio Access Network (RAN) and system integration services. 

HD voice quality is built into the VoLTE standard. This service allows "crystal clear conversations" while surfing the web at 4G LTE speeds and delivers an improved customer experience compared to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services.

4G Americas President Chris Pearson commented, "VoLTE is progressing in North America and other parts of the world as operators' coverage footprint of LTE is expanding. As VoLTE combined with RCS unfolds, carriers are able to offer new and simple-to-use communications services that customers will appreciate."

A key element in the next step of evolution for VoLTE will be interoperability between operators; AT&T and Verizon announced in early November their work on a full set of requirements, beginning with extensive lab testing and then moving to field trials, with interoperability between AT&T and Verizon customers expected in 2015. As more operators across the industry work toward interoperability, their customers will benefit with a seamless experience for services like HD voice, and other Rich Communications Services such as video calls, rich messaging and more in the future.

Similar to VoLTE, RCS takes advantage of IMS control capabilities encompassing a rich multimedia service portfolio, including multimedia messaging, chat, file transfer, privacy, buddy lists and presence. Overall, VoLTE combined with RCS provides a platform for an enhanced integrated communications experience for subscribers.

The main topics covered in VoLTE and RCS Technology Evolution & Ecosystem include:

  • An overview to VoLTE and RCS and their standards and interoperability evolution 
  • VoLTE service performance, roaming and regulatory aspects
  • Coexistence of VoLTE and RCS on IMS
  • Evolution to RCS: best practices for implementations and service offerings

"VoLTE and RCS are making huge strides by giving operators the ability to improve user experience and further progress the mobile broadband evolution with advanced communication services," stated Akhil Gokul, Engagement Manager at Ericsson, co-editor and one of the work group leaders of the white paper.

VoLTE and RCS Technology Evolution & Ecosystem  was written collaboratively by members of 4G Americas and is available for free download at: www.4gamericas.org.

About 4G Americas: Unifying the Americas through Mobile Broadband Technology
4G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization's mission is to advocate for and foster the advancement and full capabilities of the 3GPP family of mobile broadband technologies, including LTE-Advanced, throughout the ecosystem's networks, services, applications and wirelessly connected devices in the Americas. 4G Americas contributes to the success of 3GPP technologies and their No. 1 place in the region. 4G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash. More information is available at www.4gamericas.org or www.facebook.com/4gamericas and www.twitter.com/4gamericas.

4G Americas' Board of Governors members include: Alcatel-Lucent, América Móvil, AT&T, Cable & Wireless, Cisco, CommScope, Entel, Ericsson, HP, Intel, Mavenir, Nokia, Openwave Mobility, Qualcomm, Rogers, Sprint, T-Mobile USA and Telefónica.

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