New Operator Survey Shows VoLTE and ViLTE Gaining Momentum, but Roaming Model Uncertainty Raises Implementation Challenge

iBasis, a KPN company, announced today the findings from a survey of mobile operators’ attitudes and implementation plans regarding Voice and Video calling over LTE and Rich Communications Services (VoLTE, ViLTE, RCS).  Conducted by Ovum, the leading analyst house across converging telecoms, media and IT markets, the survey reveals when mobile operators expect to launch domestic and international VoLTE, ViLTE and RCS. The results of the survey are published in a new white paper, which can be downloaded from the Ovum website at www.ovum.com/white-paper-confusion-reigns-over-volte.

Conducted in January 2016, the survey reveals that approximately 80% of respondents expect to have launched domestic VoLTE within the next 12 months, and nearly half expect to have launched international VoLTE interconnection and roaming in the same timeframe. Operators cited the key drivers of their international VoLTE roll-outs to be expectations that VoLTE offered the best quality service for high-ARPU customers at home and abroad, strengthened the operators’ competitive position verses OTT providers, and maintained roaming profitability.

The survey also revealed significant challenges regarding the selection of VoLTE roaming model, with the majority of operators admitting that they don’t know whether they will implement S8HR or LBO models. The survey pinpointed the commercial implications of the different technical models.

“Potential internal conflicts appear to be centered on different priorities for inbound and outbound roaming as well as between an operator’s strategy teams developing service propositions and the roaming team implementing roaming structures,” said Ovum Senior Analyst Catherine Haslam. “It’s a major undertaking that requires a clear view of the business objectives and the technical implications, as well as cross-organizational cooperation to create a comprehensive implementation strategy.”

“Operators are eager to deploy VoLTE interconnection and roaming but they also need the right model,” said iBasis CTO Ajay Joseph. “They don’t want to have to choose between time to market and regional call quality. They are demanding a competitive and flexible model to better compete with the OTTs and meet digital communications demand. That’s why IPX providers are playing a critical and enlarged role to assist MNOs in moving to this new all-IP environment.”

Ovum conducted this industry survey of mobile operators’ and MVNOs’ plans and expectations for VoLTE, ViLTE and RCS. Respondents represent operators from around the world.

About iBasis

A wholly-owned KPN company, iBasis is a leading international voice carrier and a provider of data services and solutions for mobile operators.  The company offers a comprehensive portfolio of global voice termination services and data services, including signaling and roaming, for many of the world’s largest fixed and mobile operators, as well as “over-the-top” and voice-over-broadband service providers. The company can be reached at its worldwide headquarters in Lexington, Mass., USA at +1 781-430-7500 or at www.ibasis.com.