Confusion Reigns over VoLTE, ViLTE, and RCS Roaming

A recent Survey of mobile operators shows VoLTE and ViLTE gaining momentum, but uncertainty about roaming models raises implementation challenges.

Conducted in January 2016 by Ovum, a leading global technology research and advisory firm, and sponsored by iBasis, 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.

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.

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.”

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