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The Need for VoLTE Interconnection and Roaming

is Pressing
By Ajay Joseph, iBasis CTO

Operators revenue from mobile voice traffic is In the LBO model, the current international Voice lack of scalability and loss of revenue.
declining sharply as subscribers adopt over-the- revenue is preserved as the sending party pays the
top (OTT) applications like Skype and Viber. receiving-party termination rates (MTRs). In the During our trials we also observed the increased
VoLTE represents an opportunity for operators to case of S8HR, the voice traffic is now part of the complexity of S8HR, which requires number
retain Voice revenue and compete more effectively total S8 data traffic; the majority of calls in from the translation by the home network for special format
by improving quality, incorporating multimedia subscriber in the visited network end up at home. local numbers within the visited network, as well
features and escaping the costs and limitations of International carriers do not pay MTRs to the as identification of the visited network needed for
running circuit-switched voice networks. receiving party in the S8 HR model. This results end-user billing.
in a loss of revenues for the home operator, most
The ability to provide consistent VoLTE service likely in its interconnect department. This can There are also several challenges to be addressed
across borders presents operators an opportunity have significant financial impact for countries and by the visited network side, such as lawful intercept
to gain an early advantage with current and networks. support and overcoming the lack of service
prospective subscribers. However, multiple awareness. Because voice is treated as data, the
challenges remain, starting with a revenue- The Technical Gaps of VoLTE Roaming Models visited network lacks visibility, which is critical
impacting decision operators must make in iBasis S8HR trials revealed several technical gaps for service trouble shooting, fraud prevention and
choosing the appropriate VoLTE roaming model that are acknowledged by GSMA and 3GPP. The voice KPI measurements.
for their business. first challenge, from the home network point of
view, is local regulatory compliance, especially if The IPX Hub Solves Roaming Implementation
the visited network has a different emergency call Challenges
The Disruption of VoLTE Roaming Models support structure. The iBasis IPX acts as a hub between different
Operators are uncertain about which roaming operators helping to solve interoperability issues
model to embrace.* The two models, both The second gap relates to call quality. When the and mediating between roaming models. In the case
approved by GSMA, are Local Break-Out end-user makes a call that needs to be terminated of a regional call, the IPX can act on behalf of the
(LBO) and S8 Home Routed (S8HR). Internal close to the visited network, the call trombones home operator and break-out the call close to the
departments are often unaligned as they debate back to the home network, which could be very far visited network to ensure high quality voice service.
trade-offs between time-to-market and regional call away, impacting the call quality, as we observed.
quality. The main differences between the models Ovum expects IPX providers to have an increasing
are the way they route calls. In S8HR, voice is Because some operators will implement S8HR role in helping operators understand the
treated as data and is charged using a data business and others LBO, there will be interoperability implications of VoLTE roaming models, helping
model, while LBO maintains the existing voice problems between the models. Today, there is no them to make better-informed decisions and
business model. interoperability between them, which can result in address implementation challenges. n

*Ovum Survey, Confusion Reigns over VoLTE, ViLTE, and RCS Roaming, March 2016 Wi-Fi Calling And The Next Generation Of Wireless Services // June 2016