Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) today announced the results of an independent research study which found that its commercially deployed Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) technology provides better service than 3G Circuit Switched (CS) voice and Internet calling services and Skype software.
The analysis found that VoLTE users enjoyed considerably better call quality, faster connectivity and substantially less drain on the batteries of their mobile devices.
Without VoLTE, smartphones must make do with slower 3G networks to connect voice calls. VoLTE, on the other hand, enables 4G LTE operators to simultaneously deliver both faster mobile broadband and IP-based communications, including HD voice, HD video, presence and messaging across any connected network, device and application.
Consumers and businesses can extend their faster LTE data experience to voice calls or to connected devices, such as tablets and laptops so they may talk clearly in HD while browsing the Web, streaming movies, playing games and sharing multi-media content at LTE speeds.
“Based on our analysis of the data, VoLTE lived up to expectations,” said Michael Thelander, CEO and Founder of Signals Research Group (SRG). “VoLTE delivered a consistently higher call quality than Circuit Switched voice and Over-the-Top (OTT) applications. While other network or background traffic downloading on a smartphone could bring Skype voice to its knees, there was no indication that it impacted the VoLTE call. In addition, VoLTE really shined when it came to its network requirements, consuming far less than a Skype voice call which translates into a meaningfully longer smartphone battery life.”
SRG conducted its research from June to July 2014 to evaluate the performance of VoLTE against 3G CS voice and Skype. The research was done within a commercially active VoLTE market where Alcatel-Lucent provides the radio access network, the core network and IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem), including the primary VoLTE functionality. Tests were conducted for everyday conditions, including stationary and mobile locations, strong and weak radio coverage, and under a variety of network loading and multi-tasking conditions.
The report evaluates several attributes including call setup time, call reliability, call quality, network resource requirements, and the impact on battery life. The report’s highlights include:
- VoLTE call quality greatly exceeded that of 3G CS voice and was measurable higher than the HD voice service offered by Skype
- With network loading, and in particular with background applications running on the mobile phone and transferring data with the network, the VoLTE results were considerably better than Skype
- VoLTE call setup time was nearly twice as fast as 3G Circuit Switched Fallback (CSFB) call setup
- VoLTE used substantially fewer network resources than Skype voice, which in turn resulted in longer estimated device battery life for the subscriber and a more efficient network for the operator
- When leaving LTE coverage, VoLTE calls were successfully handed over to 3G CS voice. The network’s enhanced Single Radio Voice Call Continuity ensures calls continue without interruption
“The clear choice for mobile network operators should be a no brainer,” said Emil Olbrich, vice president of Network Technologies for SRG. “VoLTE delivers a consistently higher call quality than OTT voice applications. Operators should also strongly consider the long-term network savings associated with VoLTE, given that it takes advantage of advanced features that allow it to use far less network resources when it comes to supporting a voice call when compared with current OTT voice applications.”
Fran Heeran, General Manager of Alcatel-Lucent’s IMS Business, said “VoLTE is a key element of the IP communication revolution that will bring both consumers and businesses dramatic improvements in their communications experience and provide exciting new ways of sharing and interacting with family, friends, co-workers and the environment around them. VoLTE enables service providers to more easily and efficiently introduce these services and consolidate their networks. They can refarm their 3G spectrum to their LTE network to deliver a superior service and even more enhanced and personalized ultra broadband experiences.”
According to Infonetics Research Group, Alcatel-Lucent is the industry leader by market share, having shipped more than 109 million VoLTE licenses worldwide as of June 2014.