VoLTE & Virtualization Beyond Voice: The Mobile Service Providers Challenge Is Exponentially “V-Squared”
We are seeing accelerated adoption of two transformational trends in the real-time communications industry – VoLTE (Voice over Long Term Evolution) and NFV (Network Functions Virtualization). One of the keys to understand where to invest, how much to invest, and how soon to invest for mobile network operators is that this is not just about voice.
VoLTE is proving transformational beyond simple migration of voice services, while virtualization is fundamental to providing the scale, flexibility, and economics needed to compete. NFV is rapidly maturing, as more and more Proof-of-concepts (POCs) are now trials moving to operational implementation.
Source: Exact Ventures
Virtualized IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS) networks will enable many services beyond traditional consumer voice, which drove development and industry acceptance over the last decade. In addition to the mass market consumer services, Enterprise & SMB voice services, enhanced messaging and video services, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) are among the “connection points” made possible in real-time through transformed networks.
The additional and highly strategic use of open APIs will allow the dynamic and entrepreneurial web developer community access to key network services on which to build new apps, which is where the real revenue will ultimately be made in the “new world.”
So what are the challenges?
Security, scalability, and federation across carrier networks for new services present major challenges for operators. To ensure end-to-end IP-enabled enhanced services, carrier network interconnects must transform to: IP, multi-media, and multi-service. The session volumes associated with VoLTE are unprecedented for most IP interconnect points. While native VoLTE roaming is delayed – it is coming and may come in massive waves once we hit the tipping point. Networks – and service providers – must be ready.
Hacking, which has been in the news quite a bit lately, is always a clear and present danger to IP networks, especially at points of interconnection, which continues to drive growth of security solutions including Session Border Controllers (SBCs).
Source: Exact Ventures
With new data-oriented IP communications services such as: Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi); Video over LTE (ViLTE); messaging; SMSoverIP; Rich Communications Services (RCS); file sharing; and evolved cloud data center-oriented network architectures, Session Border Controllers (SBCs) are becoming an integral component to the creation of SECURE interconnected VoLTE and Virtualized services.
IP Exchanges and interconnection technology that secures and scales in parallel, will play an increasingly important role in federating carrier services globally and fostering new collaborative innovation. How?
- By providing high quality IP transit networking, a must as consumers and businesses demand higher quality voice, messaging and video sessions
- By making Bilateral and Multilateral Multi-Service Interconnect (Voice, Video, Messaging) possible commercially
- By levelling the playing field between signaling and media with interworking between TDM-IP, IP-IP
- By enabling VoLTE roaming interworking across various business and operating models
- By delivering global reach by federating with Over the Top (OTT) service providers
- By enabling a trusted application exchange and providing a hosted communication platform and network as a Service for interconnected carriers to innovate
It’s a BIG market!
Flexible interworking is mission-critical for seamless multi-service interconnect to work. The technology selected needs to be rich multimedia and quality aware (VoIP, HD VoIP, Full HD Enhanced Voice Services (EVS), Video, Messaging), needs to be NGN and IMS Compliant, needs to support fixed, mobile and Over-the-Top (OTT) web applications, and needs to connect to all clouds in a hybrid fashion.
Why This Matters
Services create revenue, not network infrastructure. So investments in new network infrastructure should be analyzed based on the capability of the infrastructure to support monetizing new services, whether for traditional communications services providers, Over the Top service providers, or providing data and SIP Trunk connectivity to large enterprises (such as global banks, governments, energy companies, and others) that require secure high quality private networks across their global sites and public/ hybrid clouds.
In short, service aware multimedia IP interconnection is critical to innovate and tap into new markets. With more and more real-time IP communications services moving to the cloud, and Communications-as-a-Service (CaaS) taking hold, it is the opportune time for service providers to plan their NFV evolution. Flexible interworking is key to service agility. The possibilities are endless if service providers are able to seamlessly federate the new mosaic of IP communications services, networks and infrastructure. The key is making sure you are selecting the right technology and system integration partners.