Light Reading
New software lets mobile users make calls and send messages over WiFi directly from the phone's dialer.

Taqua Lets Mobile Users Talk Over WiFi

Sarah Reedy
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
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.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
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
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
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.   

  
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
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. 
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
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
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
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, 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
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive