Editor’s Note: Welcome to our weekly feature, Analyst Angle. We’ve collected a group of the industry’s leading analysts to give their views on hot topics across the wireless industry.
What do mobile operators think about VoLTE? Operators like MetroPCS and Verizon Wireless have announced aggressive VoLTE plans, with MetroPCS planning to launch two to three VoLTE handsets before the end of 2012, and Verizon Wireless expecting to launch VoLTE by early 2013. But what are the views of the people that shape the strategy at mobile operators on VoLTE? We conducted a survey of mobile operators and this is what we found out:
–76% of mobile operators expect to see VoLTE deployed within three years. Operators expect that VoLTE will be widely deployed worldwide, with the United States leading the way. Reduction in the dependency from CDMA and the opportunity of spectrum re-farming are the key drivers of adoption in the United States.
–86% support VoLTE. Operators also expect to be actively engaged in deploying VoLTE in their own network, although the sense of urgency is variable. In Asia-Pacific and Europe, most operators agree that a move to VoLTE is necessary, but they see the transition as a mid-term goal.
–54% expect a positive impact of VoLTE on TCO and performance. While most growth in wireless is in data, voice is still a crucial service and the major source of revenue generation for most operators.
–50% expect VoLTE to improve revenues and user experience, even though potential for increased competition with over-the-top players is a widespread concern.
–Spectrum re-farming will deliver the biggest cost benefits in the long term, as it allows operators to more efficiently use their spectrum allocations.
Monica Paolini, PhD, is the founder and president of Senza Fili Consulting and can be contacted at [email protected] Senza Fili Consulting provides expert advisory services on wireless data technologies and services.