Is there really a business case for VoLTE?

Written by on April 27, 2015 in Guest Blog with 0 Comments

Blonde and brunette women talking with tin can telephone against blue background.A little over a month ago I was making the rounds at Mobile World Congress.  Speaking to a bunch of vendors and operators, there was an overwhelming consensus that VoLTE would be the number one driver for the PCC market during 2015.  VoLTE will force many operators to replace or more likely add another PCRF solution to their existing systems.

Fast forward a month and while chairing Informa’s Policy and Charging event last week in Berlin I took the opportunity to ask the full plenary session a question – Who in the audience believes that VoLTE or “HD-Voice” is going to be a killer app for the operators.  Out of a couple of hundred PCC industry folks (operators and vendors) only a single person, Paul, raised their hand in the affirmative.  The response was downright scary.  If leading operators and vendors don’t believe in VoLTE as a killer App, then what’s all the fuss about? Is the industry waking up from an illusion that it can successfully compete with OTT players?

OK, so the idea is the VoLTE will reduce costs (in the long, long term) and create a higher quality voice service for customers – but it isn’t coming for free. This is going to mean a considerable investment.  The lure of the all-IP network is wonderful, but it is going to be a long time before most operators can turn off their 2G/3G networks and start reaping the real benefits.  In the meantime, apart from the PCC conference, we have heard lots of people touting VoLTE as the industry’ response to OTT voice.  It does seem though that not everybody is under the opinion that people are going to be trading in their free Skype, Viber, WhatsApp… for paid, High Def, operator-delivered voice services any time soon.

The fact is that for most customers, voice is just voice, they don’t really care how it’s delivered and for most people it isn’t a new app.  So what we are left with is a gaping chasm rather than a small gap between the promise/opportunity presented around VoLTE.  Sorry Paul, it’s really tough to see voice becoming the killer app after all this time.  Is there a plan B and please don’t say ViLTE!

This article was first published here.

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About the Author

About the Author: Jonathon has been lurking around the Telecoms and Internet space for the last 20 years. He is now a man on a mission – that being the reformation of the Industry Analyst business. He is working with his co-conspirators on transforming the Industry Analyst world forever as an Expert with EMI. .

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