As MWC comes to an end, some additional thoughts on VoLTE

Erika Collins
Mar. 2 2017

As we dive into the final day at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, our focus has shifted from all-things IoT and LoRa to another key tech: Voice-over LTE (VoLTE). VoLTE represents a growing technology that will have major implications for MNOs and the networks they manage in the future.

Voice remains the primary service for most MNOs, and VoLTE gives users the ability to use voice and data at the same time by leveraging fast LTE network technology. To date, however, only 102 operators have actually launched VoLTE services.

The reason for this is that offering VoLTE can be risky, as it puts a heavy burden on network capacity that requires constant troubleshooting and optimization to ensure service quality is up to customers' high standards. If VoLTE calls frequently drop in the same location, for instance, customers are likely going to seek out a more reliable service provider. The same is true if sound quality isn't ideal, or if some customers' VoLTE calls never even go through to begin with.

The overarching solution for all of these issues is operator visibility. Without insight into service coverage at specific locations, for instance, operators can't look into resolving service “dead zones” that regularly taunt high-value subscribers. The same is true when it comes to call quality and throughput, as operators need visibility into their existing cell sites to fix any weak areas in their coverage map.

A Shift in the Optimization Workflow

This all represents a shift from traditional to subscriber-driven network optimization. For years, optimization was based on meeting network KPIs, which involve primarily monitoring the network as a whole and not localized performance. While this may assure that 99 percent of the network is receiving performant coverage, the 1 percent who aren't might still represent a big cut in revenues if they were to switch providers.

The issue with only focusing on cell-level KPIs is that this puts an MNO's entire customer base in a single box rather than allowing insight into performance on a per-customer basis. Effective VoLTE optimization requires visibility around the following:

  • Individual subscriber call records, including VoLTE call set up time, along with additional anecdotal data like the customer's phone model, call duration and RAB type
  • VoLTE subscriber QoS information with a detailed breakdown of dropped and blocked call issues, as well as data and packet loss analysis
  • The location where service lags are happening

Our superior geolocation engine gives MNOs the ability to visualize the network and VoLTE subscriber behavior. It uses call trace data to help operators visualize and analyze the quality status of the network and pinpoint the location of subscriber issues. This then empowers operators to solve and prioritize optimization efforts for high-value subscribers and critical problem areas, while giving them the tools they need to plan and scale the network up for the future.

Learn more about our suite of solutions and the other hot topics we've been discussing throughout Mobile World Congress by coming to meet the “new” InfoVista on the final day of the show at booth 7G40.

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