Light Reading

New Specs Deepen LTE Voice Dilemma

Michelle Donegan
LR Mobile News Analysis
Michelle Donegan

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        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (9) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (1) comment

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Sprint, Verizon Face Reorganization, Job Cuts
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/20/2015
Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Networking Shines in HP's Gloomy Final Earnings
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.