& cplSiteName &

Taqua Lets Mobile Users Talk Over WiFi

Sarah Thomas
2/6/2014
50%
50%

WiFi is an operator's best friend for relieving data congestion on the cellular network, but it's becoming a more viable network for voice calls, as well, thanks to technology Taqua announced Thursday.

The IP communications vendor Taqua LLC is launching a voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) virtual mobile core that it says provides fully integrated cellular-to-WiFi voice and messaging services on mobile devices.

A number of new mobile virtual network operators like Republic Wireless and Scratch Wireless have built their business on offering WiFi connectivity-first services. The biggest hand up for some of these startups is the transition from WiFi to cellular (Scratch's calls just drop, for example) or the need to launch an app to make the VoIP call, rather than using the phone's native dialer. (See Is WiFi the New It Network? and Why WiFi-First Works for Wireless.)

Taqua takes care of both of those things, but it's not targeting its offering at these alternative network operators. Its wants to offer the platform to mainstream cellular operators looking to compete with OTT VoIP apps. John Hoadley, wireless CTO at Taqua, told us it's already deployed on a Tier 1 US operator. Though he wouldn't say which one, leaks last week suggest that Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) will soon begin offering voice over WiFi. T-Mobile US Inc. has offered a similar service for the past three years. (See Sprint Jibes With OTT Comms.)

Here's how it works: On the backend, the software treats the WiFi call like a circuit-switched 3G call, so it's routed the same, but over the unlicensed spectrum. Taqua's platform chooses the strongest signal and defaults to that network. It also uses the phone's native dialer, contacts, call history, voicemail, and SMS platform, so it happens without the user intervening or knowing.

Hoadley said this allows the operators to apply policy, track users, and bill for the call as data, instead of counting it against a user's voice minutes. It also gives cable companies a complement to their WiFi strategies. For consumers, it's a better option for indoor locations with poor cellular coverage.

Taqua plans to embed it on Android handsets, but it's also available as an over-the-air download to support older phones.

"People use WiFi anyway," Hoadley said; some reports say it handles 70-80% of all data use. "Why not bring voice over it?"

Taqua has been around since 1998 and has its hands in a number of technologies, including small cell backhaul and voice over LTE (VoLTE), but Frederick Reynolds, vice president of marketing at Taqua, told us VoWiFi is the area that's getting the most traction right now. In fact, both he and Hoadley have concerns about the operators' aggressive timelines for small cells and VoLTE, but that's a subject for another time. VoWiFi is something they want right now, Reynolds said, and the Taqua men believe that, when VoLTE is mainstream, VoWiFi will be a nice complement to it. (See More Startups Target Small-Cell Backhaul and Taqua Takes Tatara for Femto Voice Push.)

"We create a bridge between the features in a switch and IMS world," Reynolds said. "We can translate everything coming over SS7 to look like IMS on one side and SIP on the other. It's a useful transition that will last a couple of decades."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(14)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/27/2014 | 5:27:49 AM
Re : Taqua Lets Mobile Users Talk Over WiFi
Voice Servers! The age is changing from data servers to voice servers. I think it is better to use a separate installation of servers for voice over data than use existing server bands to have such an access. Also, the encryption procedures have to be different for voice (converted to token and then to digital signals) and would have to deliver more security.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/27/2014 | 5:27:09 AM
Re : Taqua Lets Mobile Users Talk Over WiFi
Line (the app) does a similar thing, no? I think it is better but consumes a lot of data. Although the technical aspect of the technology might be more advanced than Line and is more consumer focused, I think Line has been doing the voice over the wi-fi without any troubles for some time.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/25/2014 | 6:58:25 AM
Re: Confirmed to be Sprint
Another piece of the puzzle over WiFi calling at Sprint was revealed today. Kineto is working with Taqua to power the service. A spokesman says, "Kineto develops, integrates and tests the software that is embedded in each Sprint Android device to enable Wi-Fi Calling. Kineto's software redirects SMS and voice calls to the Sprint network via the Wi-Fi interface and the internet with no new application for Sprint's users to download and learn. It's all built right into the phone."

 See: http://www.lightreading.com/mobile/carrier-wifi/sprint-selects-kineto-for-wi-fi-calling/d/d-id/707905
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/21/2014 | 12:23:58 PM
Confirmed to be Sprint
Sprint confirmed its WiFi calling service today, so I think it's safe to say this is the deployment Taqua was referring to... https://community.sprint.com/baw/community/sprintblogs/announcements/blog/2014/02/21/sprint-launches-wi-fi-calling--expanding-voice-and-messaging-coverage
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/6/2014 | 11:59:03 AM
Re: OTT v. native
WarrenB - Ah, yes, of course. I should have realized you meant voice service. Yes, fewer people are using landlines, and that's a problem for cable companies looking to grow in that area (as well as telcos of course). 
WarrenB
50%
50%
WarrenB,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/6/2014 | 11:48:43 AM
Re: OTT v. native
@FakeMitch, the cord cutting I was referring to relates to the cable co.'s VoIP business. Ten years ago this was a growth business for cable companies as consumers switched from legacy landline to cheaper VoIP services offered by cable companies. But now between 1/3 and 1/2 of US households have no landline. ATT and Verizon can embrace this cord-cutting given their reliance on mobile, but the cable companies not so much.

OTT television services aren't yet as mature, but cable companies have more recently begun experiencing slow subscriber erosion in that segment as well. It seems likely this will accelerate going forward.   

  
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/6/2014 | 11:26:14 AM
Re: OTT v. native
Network selection can be set by operator policy, and users can also indicate their preferences they first time the log in, ie maybe the always want to default to WiFi in their home, but not elsewhere. As for the quality question, I think that remains to be seen. Cellular call quality is nothing to brag about, and I think VoIP can be better in a lot of cases. But, it still has its fair share of issues as well.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/6/2014 | 11:22:24 AM
Re: OTT v. native
This looks like a great service. Takes some of the burden off mobile providers' strained data networks. 

Does the user perceive any difference between voice-over-WiFi and a conventional call? Is the voice quality any better? Does the user manually choose which network to use, or is that handled automatically?

 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/6/2014 | 11:19:48 AM
Re: OTT v. native
WarrenB - Is cord-cutting in fact a significant actual threat to cable companies? The numbers I've seen indicate that cord-cutting is done by a small, but vocal, number of early adopters. 

OTOH, I've also seen reports that cable subscriptions are flat. That suggests few people are cutting the cord, but also few people who don't have the cord are having it connected. In other words: If you already have cable you're likely to keep it, but if you're just moving out of your parents' house to the first home of your own, you're likely not to get cable. In other words: The cable market is aging -- a bad place for a business to be. 
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/6/2014 | 11:03:37 AM
Re: OTT v. native
Sorry, I meant that the sessions are treated as data rather than voice, but not necessarily charged that way. It'd be up to the operator how to charge. THe Sprint leaks suggested it was a free service, but Taqua didn't confirm if that was who they are working with. 

I definitely agree that cable companies would be an good target market, especially with their increased interest in WiFi of late.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 19, 1:00PM EDT
Securing a Virtual World
Rita Marty, Executive Director, Mobility and Cloud Security, Chief Security Office, AT&T
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: SDN/NFV Pose New Interconnection Possibilities

9|28|16   |   04:37   |   (0) comments


Network operators should develop new APIs and business processes for reselling virtual assets to each other, says CenturyLink's Bill Walker. That will enable them to build digital business portfolios that help them avoid becoming commodity transport providers.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Overcoming Terror of Being Supplier, Integrator & Developer

9|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Travis Ewert of Level 3 Communications said there is terror in becoming supplier, integrator and developer, but it can be overcome and be cost effective.
LRTV Custom TV
Introducing IoT World News

9|27|16   |   01:43   |   (0) comments


Self-driving cars, medical sensors, smart cities... and refrigerators. In order to address the huge scope of IoT, KNect365 has created a unique online community that will help businesses to understand and monetize the opportunities that live within the IoT market. We look forward to welcoming you to IoT World News -- your gateway to a better connected future.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T: Re-usable Functions Next NFV Key

9|27|16   |   06:03   |   (0) comments


The next generation of NFV has to break functions down into re-usable software chunks, making everything much more cloud-like.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy on Security: Attackers Gaining Upper Hand

9|27|16   |   5:10   |   (2) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Ray Watson, vice president of Global Technology at Masergy, says that because of the growth in virtualization, the threat landscape is shifting in favor of the attackers. As a result, service providers need to think beyond just defending the perimeter and take a more holistic approach to security.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (2) comments


At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
LRTV Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (12) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
LRTV Custom TV
Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Verizon CFO: Eat Our (Fixed) 5G Dust!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/22/2016
WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/23/2016
Eurobites: Telefónica Taps Juniper for Network Security
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/26/2016
Open Source Getting on My Nerves
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/26/2016
Upskill U Kicks Off Gigabit Courses With Orange
Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Editor, 9/26/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
There's Nothing Like Missing a Full Minute of Pokémon Go Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.