Will VoLTE Deployments Put Subscribers at Risk?
VoLTE is about to have its moment in the mobile operating industry.
The service, which allows wireless operators to transmit calls in the same way it sends data, is going to usher in a new era in mobile technology – one that phases out antiquated, costly and less efficient circuit-switch voice networks.
Since VoLTE voice calls are sent as prioritized packets over the same LTE data network as smartphone-based Web surfing, users can expect a more distinct call that reduces “contamination” created from surrounding daily noise.
Smartphone models like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9 were just a few of the VoLTE enabled smartphones unveiled at the Mobile World Congress 2015 trade show. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are also enabled with this technology.
A few major mobile operators began phasing in the service early in 2014; others are currently phasing in the service in select markets. VoLTE is expected to roll out in a big way in late 2015.
Now consider the risk – operators are releasing a new technology, one that hasn’t been done before. There’s no roadmap in place. Because VoLTE is so new and still limited, operations teams are still figuring out what normal call path behavior is. And even though business intelligence provider Visiongain expects there to be 101.7 million active VoLTE subscriptions worldwide by the end of the year, no one really knows what session volumes will look like in each region.
Mobile operators want to make sure the VoLTE deployment doesn’t resemble the LTE fiasco from a few years ago, when data outages plagued the industry. To avoid devastating failure, operators are relying on infrastructure monitoring platforms.
Fortunately, the LTE failures of the past shined a light on what is needed in infrastructure monitoring:
- Access to metrics and statistical data on a much broader range of third-party equipment
- As close to real-time data collection as possible
- A processing infrastructure to handle huge amounts of data
- The ability to identify what’s normal and what’s not in the network
Effective monitoring will not just track the real-time health of the VoLTE service, but it will also identify areas of need, reveal areas of congestion and allow network operators to compare vendor claims and SLAs.
Monitoring, of course, needs to be rapid. Network operators, in the aftermath of the LTE outages, learned that some of the outages could have been avoided if data had been collected faster.
Taking into account the hard lessons learned years prior, network operators are demanding more from their monitoring vendors. And rightfully so, as the solutions to deliver results are now available.
For a deeper analysis, access our free Executive Brief on Applying Lessons of LTE Outages to VoLTE Deployments.