This blog is by Ismo Matilainen from the Networks business of Nokia.
The Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015 party may be over, but my favorite part is sifting through the gift bag of meaningful results that we collect every year.
This year, I was happy to see that VoLTE’s status at the party was now firmly established and – in addition to the basic questions about high-definition voice and call setup time – visitors also drilled down to the key topic of why voice and data can’t be separated between 2G/3G voice and LTE data. VoLTE (voice and video) is needed in the LTE data network so that operators can concentrate on the LTE service experience.
Another big takeaway was operators’ focus on having one core or telco cloud structure, which will provide all communication services from VoLTE/VoWiFi to web RTC and connection for the Internet of Things. Terminals will certainly be available for VoLTE and VoWiFi, evidenced by the devices from Apple, Sony and Microsoft that we used to demonstrate VoLTE and VoWiFi calls.
One demonstration highlight was the seamless mobility (handover) in VoWiFi between LTE and WiFi, even though the jury is out as to whether this is even required. But as with any good party, you have to make the best of unexpected surprises when they hit – in this case the somewhat spotty public WiFi access in the exhibition hall which affected call quality in VoWiFi. But that served to prove the point that we still recommend keeping phone calls in the cellular network as long as possible and switch to WiFi when it makes sense.
In Korea, for example, LTE is everywhere and provides superior connection and voice quality, so there’s no need to switch calls to the WiFi network – which might negatively impact the voice quality.
“So how do I implement a virtualized core?”
Another rewarding party discussion focused on virtualization and the telco cloud. Over 300 visitors groups experimented with VoLTE and VoWiFi calls in Nokia Networks’ fully virtualized environment. In this scale demonstration, the most popular question was “How do I implement a virtualized core”. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer here as virtualization and telco cloud require changes within individual operator organizations as well. However, from our experience with live implementations, we see operators opting to bring one virtual core function at a time into the live environment, like IMS/TAS or HSS or MME*.
From the party-trick perspective, Nokia’s Telco Cloud Core and Radio Cloud demonstrations showed that technically, anything is possible!
*IMS/TAS or HSS or MME = IP Multimedia Sub-system/Telecom Application Server or Home Subscriber Server or Mobility Management Entity
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