Sunday 23 October 2016

VoLTE Operator Case Study from LTE Voice Summit

Phil Sheppard, Director of Network Strategy & Architecture, Three UK was the keynote speaker of LTE Voice Summit held in London this month. Its been over a year that Three launched its VoLTE service in the 800MHz band. In fact recently, it has started showing adverts with Maisie Williams (Arya Stark from Game of Thrones) fighting black spots (not spots) with 4G Super-Voice.

As I highlighted in the LTEVoice 2015 summary where China Mobile group vice-president Mr.Liu Aili admitted "VoLTE network deployment is the one of the most difficult project ever, the implementation complexity and workload is unparalleled in history", Three UK's experience wasn't very different. Quoting from ThinkSmallCell summary of the event:
It was a huge project, the scope far exceeding original expectations and affecting almost every part of their operations.  They spent 22,245 man days (excluding vendor staff time) – more than 100 man years of effort – mostly involved with running huge numbers of test cases on the network and devices.

There are some other interesting bits from the different summaries that are provided in references below but here are few things I found of interest with regards to Three UK VoLTE deployment:
  • 170 million voice calls minutes have used VoLTE since the launch in Sept 2015
  • Only devices that can support VoLTE and 800MHz are allowed to camp on 800MHz band. This is to avoid disappointment with CS Fallback
  • There are plans to roll out VoLTE in other bands too once all niggles are ironed out in the 800MHz band.

Here is the presentation from 3 UK:

Blog posts summarizing LTEVoice 2016:

Related posts:


ksec said...

Do we know if there are any future plans to simplify this? We went from what I think was technically simple to understand, circuit switching in 2G, to hybrid of circuit switching and packet switching in 3G. I was expecting the hybrid was the most complicated. 4G was all packet switching, so we moving to all software solution. And yet what we have is complexity after complexity, abstraction after abstraction.
Will 5G improves on this? So far all 5G information seems to be mmWave based.

Zahid Ghadialy said...

Ksec, I dont think there are any plans for any kind of simplification just yet. In fact all issues associated with VoLTE are not even sorted yet.

5G should continue VoLTE. We may rename it to VoXYZ where XYZ will be the actual name for 5G.