Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) services are finally being rolled out in the United States. Within one year (2015), VoLTE has been enabled in a large number of handsets. VoLTE services provide network operators the ability to offer additional services to its customers, which were previously unavailable. These services include the initiation of video sessions alongside high-definition voice calling facilities. It is characterized by faster call setup times between two VoLTE-compliant end devices from within a VoLTE environment.
Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) calling leverages the wireless broadband network for the purpose of communication. The technology is based upon the 802.11 ac standard of communication. The uptake of VoWiFi is pretty rapid as user can receive seamless and extended coverage even in indoor environment with it; this will likely hinder the uptake of VoLTE.
Although there is an overlap between VoWiFi and VoLTE, there are different options of VoWiFi such as VoLTE with WiFi, WiFi with or without VoLTE. VoWiFi services are transformative and they bring new types of SPs to the table. Testing the ability to offload these services to WiFi functionally and checking their performance later to make sure it is acceptable becomes necessary.
High Rate of Adoption of VoLTE and VoWiFi to Enhance Quality of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS) Requirements Among End Users
The growth of VoLTE has been spearheaded by network operators from around the world, with Telstra, Three, and Vodafone UK as the most recent entrants into this space. The latest iOS will be embedded with Verizons’ enriched HC voice services. The service, which comes in the form of software, should enable the end user to connect seamlessly from VoLTE services onto a WiFi hot spot, guaranteeing enhanced QoS and QoE metrics, without increasing operating expenditure substantially.
This churn can be further aggravated by social media, which is fairly biased, as most of the times, it is the negatives that are highlighted and picked up more quickly than the positive attributes. To ensure this does not happen, network operators require sophisticated testing and monitoring technologies which can test anomalies that often reside within silos, and enrich network visibility.
The requirement for optimum QoE and QoS metrics while deploying VoLTE should be a high driver for the testing and monitoring market and will remain that way in the near future.
The Frost & Sullivan’s research titled “Analysis of the VoLTE and VoWiFi Testing and Monitoring Equipment Market” details the solutions that are used to check the conformance of VoLTE and VoWiFi deployments from the mobile device into the network core.
While VoLTE-specific testing and monitoring equipment generated $604.5 million in 2015, VoWiFi-specific testing and monitoring equipment generated $565.5 million in 2015. These segments are expected to reach $1,288.1 million and $1,510.3 million, respectively, by 2020, expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 16.3% and 21.7% between 2015 and 2020.
Major trends that are expected to positively affect the uptake of VoLTE and VoWiFi include the need to validate the VoLTE and VoWiFi deployment for enhanced QoE and QoS metrics, handovers and transfers of the mobile device from a licensed LTE spectrum to an unlicensed spectrum, and the testing for conformance of VoLTE- and VoWiFi-compliant mobile devices.
Carriers are careful as they cannot afford to offer services with poor quality. VoLTE and VoWiFi testing and monitoring vendors can be challenged by inadequate scalability, particularly due to high growth of VoWiFi, and with implementing testing solutions all across network infrastructure.