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 Interviews
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration

11|21|14   |   04:29   |   (7) comments


At the Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium, Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how SDN has reshaped the discussion around packet and optical integration.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Highlights at BBWF 2014

11|20|14   |   3:40   |   (1) comment


Broadband World Forum is one of the world's largest telecoms, media and technology events with over 7,800 senior executives from across the globe converging on Amsterdam every year to identify the Next Big Thing. BBWF is an exciting place to meet the entire industry under one roof and identify the latest in network innovation, service optimization and customer ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Will BCMS Stimulate Margin for Broadband Operators?

11|19|14   |   6:52   |   (0) comments


In BBWF 2014, Liu Shuqing emphasizes the value of FMC 2.0 based full service experience by throwing light on the BCMS solution. The underlying principle of this innovative technique is to create network robustness and driving network from connection oriented to ACE – BAND oriented infrastructure, in which applications, cloud, and user experiences will be an asset ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
SingleFAN3.0: Better Connected Experience

11|19|14   |   3:06   |   (1) comment


At the BBWF 2014, David Hu, the VP of Huawei Access Network Product Line, talked about the future of access networks – SingleFAN3.0: faster broadband, wider coverage, and smarter connection.
LRTV Interviews
Basil Alwan Interview: The Road to Cloud

11|19|14   |   09:09   |   (0) comments


Alcatel-Lucent's head of IP and Transport talks about the migration towards a web-like networking environment, the impact of the cloud, SDN and NFV, and the yet-to-be-announced FP4 chip.
LRTV Documentaries
FairPoint Makes a Fair Point About Analytics

11|19|14   |   1:56   |   (1) comment


The US-based communication service provider gets to grips with advanced analytics, tackling data and breaking down the silos within its own business.
LRTV Documentaries
Analytics Lets C Spire Get to Know Subs

11|19|14   |   3:01   |   (2) comments


It's all about the data for US operator C Spire as it uses analytics to personalize its customer service down to individual subscribers.
LRTV Interviews
Nuage Branches Out With SDN: CEO Interview

11|17|14   |   9:32   |   (0) comments


Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's SDN-focused unit Nuage Networks, talks about the opportunities and challenges of breaking out of the data center into wide-area networks.
Light Reedy
Telecom Analytics Grows Up

11|14|14   |   1:15   |   (4) comments


The big data analytics debate has moved on from a year ago, with some experts suggesting it's no longer a technology challenge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Compass

11|14|14   |   3:17   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Shuo Yang, Huawei Principal Cloud Infrastructure Architect introduced Huawei Compass, the software tool for solving customers' problems on the journey of OpenStack Cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Cloud Strategy in European Region

11|14|14   |   2:56   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dr. Gotz, CTO of Huawei IT in European Region introduced Huawei's cloud strategy in European region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Contribution on OpenStack

11|14|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dennis Gu, Huawei Chief Architect of Cloud Computing introduced the relationship between OpenStack and cloud computing, and Huawei's contribution on OpenStack.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 12, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
$38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/21/2014
Google, AT&T, BT Unite on Network Data Models
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 11/20/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed