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Researchers Predict 1bn VoLTE Connections For 4G Calls By 2018

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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VoLTE connections to surge to one billion by 2018, with two billion possible by the end of the decade, report claims

Researchers claim there will be more than one billion Voice over LTE (VoLTE) users by 2018 as operators continue to roll out higher quality voice technology to better compete with over the top (OTT) players and rival networks.

Mobile operators have seen revenues fall as users flock to the likes of Skype and Facebook and it is hoped ‘HD voice’ services powered by VoLTE will ensure they don’t lost more customers, according to Juniper Research.

Unless VoLTE is deployed, 4G networks only handle data, so users revert to 2G or 3G when making a call, interrupting the flow of data. VoLTE not only ensures a consistent connection but should mean more reliable and better quality voice services.

VoWi-Fi rise

mobile signal business office anger phone © iofoto ShutterstockHowever, despite the desire by operators to create new revenue-generating services, analysts believe networks won’t look to monetise VoLTE at first, instead hoping the offer of better quality calls will ensure customer loyalty.

Juniper expects there to be 123 billion VoLTE users by the end of the year and believes there could be as many as two billion connections by 2020, at which point, such services could account for $100 billion in revenues for operators.

Three was the first UK operator to launch VoLTE in September, and expects to have one million users by the end of this year and 5.5 million by the conclusion of 2016. Vodafone and EE are also working on a commercial launch of the technology.

Operators are also looking to deploy Voice-over-Wi-Fi (VoW-FI) to improve indoor signal. EE and Vodafone have already enabled native VoWi-Fi although Three has told TechWeekEurope it is “working” on it, having already launched the ‘Three inTouch’ application.

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