August 20, 2015 — In its first foray into VoLTE, Verizon has expanded to almost 4 million customers on what it calls Advanced Calling 1.0, David Small, EVP of wireless operations, Verizon Wireless Capital, said during the Oppenheimer Technology, Internet & Communications Conference, held Aug. 11, in Boston.
“Our call-in rate [to complain] on those customers is not any higher than what we would see from a non-Advanced Calling 1.0 consumer. And I do think they very much value that experience,” he said.
Small went on to say that the carrier has 100 people drive testing the VoLTE network, as well as system performance engineers working with the handset manufacturers and hardware providers to ensure overall network performance. He said the system has achieved a dropped call rate of .4 in half the time of previous network technology upgrades.
“So we feel very good about the service and we are testing it every day and having very good experiences,” Small said.
VoLTE Goes Global
Around the world, a number of contracts for VoLTE, as well as voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi), were signed in recent weeks.
China Mobile has signed a flurry of contracts to move its VoLTE aspirations forward. Alcatel-Lucent, which heretofore had only penetrated the United States with its VoLTE equipment, received a contract for its Rapport VoLTE communications software from what is known as the world’s largest telecom provider. It will the deploy platform in nine provinces, including Jiangsu and Zhejiang, as well as the cities of Shanghai and Chongqing.
China Mobile is also conducting a trial of Rapport as a network functions-based VoLTE solution. The deployment will also set the stage for China Mobile to offer VoWi-Fi.
Alcatel-Lucent wasn’t alone, thought. Huawei won nearly half of China Mobile’s VoLTE procurement project and was selected to be responsible for deployment of commercial VoLTE networks in the developed coastal provinces. ZTE Corporation said it too was a big winner securing large-scale orders for IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) core network solutions from China Mobile to enable the rollout of VoLTE services, including equipment and systems integration.
Elsewhere, Telenor Sweden has chosen Ericsson as the sole supplier for a full-scale upgrade of the operator’s core network, enabling VoLTE and VoWi-Fi to its customers. In Iceland, Síminn (Iceland Telecom) has entered into a five-year strategic partnership with Ericsson to further rollout of LTE across Iceland and eventually deploy VoLTE and VoWi-Fi. Under the agreement, Ericsson will be the prime supplier of all radio access equipment and the common core network, including the Ericsson IMS and Evolved Packet Core.