Light Reading
VoLGA Forum unveils new specs to tackle the thorny issue of delivering circuit-switched voice and messaging services over LTE

New Specs Deepen LTE Voice Dilemma

Michelle Donegan
LR Mobile News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
7/7/2009
50%
50%

A T-Mobile International AG -backed industry group has advanced its efforts to introduce an alternative way to deliver voice services over Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks.

The Voice over LTE via Generic Access (VoLGA) Forum announced today it has published the second version of specifications for its circuit-switch-over-packet approach for voice services over LTE. That means the group is closer to its goal of creating a new set of specifications that will be ready for submission to the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards body by the end of the year. (See New Forum Gives Voice to LTE .)

But the challenge for VoLGA is to enlist support from more operators -- T-Mobile is the only public operator supporter now -- if it is to succeed in gaining admittance into the 3GPP's body of work.

The VoLGA development is at the heart of a divisive issue for mobile operators as they plan LTE deployments. The problem is that LTE, as an all-IP mobile broadband technology, does not support legacy circuit-switched voice and SMS services, and operators are undecided about the best way to deliver these services. (See T-Mobile: Voice Discord Threatens LTE and T-Mobile, Orange Open Up on LTE.)

Heavy Reading senior analyst Gabriel Brown sums up the dilemma operators face in this column: Voice Over LTE & the 'IMS Gap'.

There are basically three different ways to deliver voice services over LTE:

  • IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) is approved by the 3GPP but may be too immature to rely on for early LTE services
  • Circuit-switch (CS) fallback, in which the 2G or 3G networks are relied on for voice services
  • Circuit-switch-over-packet, where the CS voice or SMS traffic is tunneled over LTE
VoLGA is one option for the CS-over-packet approach, along with various proprietary solutions.

In addition to T-Mobile, the VoLGA initiative has the support of all the major infrastructure vendors, with the notable exception of Nokia Networks , which is understood to be developing its own proprietary solution.

The big worry for the industry is that operators will adopt different approaches for voice-over-LTE services, which would threaten the industry's biggest sources of service revenue generation -- voice and SMS.

The VoLGA Forum is developing its specifications in line with 3GPP procedures so that they can be more easily included into the 3GPP process, according to Keith Mumford, director of product marketing, EMEA, at Kineto Wireless Inc. , one of the founding members of the VoLGA Forum and a key supporter of the GAN technology on which VoLGA is based.

"By following the process of the 3GPP, it's easier to slot the specifications into the 3GPP model," says Mumford.

The Forum hopes to have the third stage of the specifications completed before the end of the year so that, with enough industry and operator support, VoLGA can be submitted to the 3GPP for a work item in Release 10 of the standard body's specifications work.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (5) comments


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
Comcast Apologizes to 'A**hole' Brown
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/29/2015
US Ops Spend $32.5M to Bring 4G to Chicago's Subways
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 1/30/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.