By Ed Elkin, Director, IP Platforms Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent
At Mobile World Congress, I discovered that many network providers still aren’t aware of the broader business values of voice over LTE (VoLTE). Most knew it readily includes HD voice for clearer calls and reduced background noise, which lets you feel like you’re standing right next to the other person. Most didn’t realize that, in unexpected ways, VoLTE helps them earn more money and increase efficiency.
This blog launches our three-part series focused on the value of VoLTE. My next two blogs will look at how VoLTE benefits your enterprise and consumer customers.
Generating higher revenues
How does VoLTE help you earn more money? By opening up revenues in four ways.
1. You gain more capacity for data and voice, using existing spectrum.
A VoLTE network has up to 3 times more voice and data capacity than 3G UMTS — and up to 6 times more than 2G GSM — and that extra capacity helps you sell more data services. Nearly everybody understood that part. What most didn’t know is that VoLTE’s packet headers are smaller than unoptimized VoIP/LTE, so that more bandwidth is available for data services. For instance, in a cell with 200 VoLTE calls, 4.4 Mbps is freed up for data services. VoLTE also reduces the consumption of each cell’s control channels, so the cell can serve more users and increase throughput for non-voice data services.
2. VoLTE encourages your customers to use more data.
Forget about charging more for voice or RCS. Rather, VoLTE allows your enterprise and consumer customers to easily use 4G LTE data services by maximizing their time on LTE. This difference helps business employees stay connected and work at LTE speeds. For example, they can keep their existing laptop or tablet, tether it using WiFi or Bluetooth to their VoLTE smartphone, and talk & work anywhere, without the old desk phone’s limitations or ongoing operational costs. Consumers can multi-task, talking and browsing simultaneously. As a result, VoLTE fits perfectly into today’s demand for faster mobile broadband.
3. You can offer rich IP communications right now, including video calling and content sharing.
Video provides engagement and immediacy. It’s as easy to use as voice or messaging, so your customers can use it at the jai alai game or for closing on that sales call without the hassles or variable clarity of OTT video. Or those expensive enterprise room systems. And content sharing helps your customers use media (files, pictures, videos, location, etc.) just as simply and broadly as texting. Instead of heading over to email or DropBox, simply move the content within the call itself, whether it’s to your fishing buddy or to your conference call. And thanks to WebRTC, your customers can do this with anybody, not just other VoLTE subscribers.
4. VoLTE sets the stage for distinctive apps and services.
You can also develop a full portfolio of differentiated applications and services that give you a competitive edge. Our adjacent MWC demo showed just how easy it is, for you or your application partners, to build engaging new services using New Conversation APIs and WebRTC.
- For example, multi-device services offer an attractive differentiator. They make subscribers’ IP communications accessible and consistent from any suitable device — such as a tablet — even when their smartphone isn’t within reach.
- Third-party developers can help you create innovative offerings that solve specific enterprise needs or appeal to popular consumer interests. You can boost an enterprise’s efficiency by incorporating communications within web applications such as medical records systems, so that they don’t need to leave the app in order to communicate. Or enable the elderly to use their home TV and its remote control to safely check out who’s at the front door, easily bridging on family if the visitor isn’t recognized.
With Cloud Communications, these offerings help move your organization fully into a data-centric ecosystem. It supports a data-centric pricing strategy that lets you put the focus on data plans, reduce consumer churn with bundled communications and grow your enterprise business by helping companies cut the cord on legacy customer-premise systems.
The bottom line
What’s the result, when you add up all the business advantages of VoLTE? As the video highlights, you can make a strong case for moving fully to 4G LTE — and doing away with split-network operations and cumbersome services.
In my next two blogs, we’ll take a closer look at the advantages you can offer your consumer and enterprise customers. Your 4G communications service becomes the one that people use, when communication matters. Meanwhile, Jean Jones’ upcoming new blog series offers crucial tips for improving your VoLTE deployment, based on interviews with Alcatel-Lucent experts who have first-hand experience with major service implementations.