Carrier NFV Infrastructure NEWS

Telkomsel, Huawei Conduct Successful Demo of Mobile Service that Uses VoLTE, Wi-Fi, and NFV

By Christopher Mohr June 29, 2015

Telkomsel and Huawei recently conducted a successful demonstration of a technology that combines Wi-Fi, VoLTE, and network function virtualization (NFV). It will allow users on phone calls to switch between Wi-Fi and 4G networks without dropping the call.

According to some sources, Telkomsel is the largest mobile provider in Indonesia with over 141 million customers. Bringing the technology used in the demonstration into production would deliver an advanced calling experience to one of the largest markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The company recently received the 2015 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Mobile Service Provider of the Year Award after major growth in voice, SMS, and digital business revenues.

VoLTE is an important technology to delivering a better calling experience, because it treats any activity on a phone that requires network access as data packets. Talking on the phone, browsing the Web, uploading a file, etc. all use data packets. Earlier generations of mobile phone technology treat voice calls as one type of packet and everything else as data. This is why you have to disconnect a call to browse the Web on a non-VoLTE smartphone. The two activities cannot be performed simultaneously as they could on a VoLTE-enabled device.

The everything-is-data approach of VoLTE is important to successful Wi-Fi calling, which is designed to have a clean handoff between Wi-Fi and 4G networks. T-Mobile and Sprint, the first U.S. top-tier carriers to offer Wi-Fi calling had disclaimers on their websites about such transitions leading to dropped calls with some or all devices.

Image via Shutterstock

NFV is a more efficient and less costly way to set up a massive network. AT&T, for example, has plans to virtualize three-fourths of its network by 2020. By the end of this year, the carrier hopes to reach five percent virtualization. In addition to the lowered costs and reduced dependence on hardware, an NFV environment provides better load balancing and is better equipped to re-route traffic after major outages.

It will be a great day when mobile phone users can go anywhere in the world and make a call anywhere, whether in a building with Wi-Fi or through a VoLTE network without regard to the underlying technology needed to make such a call possible. The demonstration by Telkomsel means that technology is one major step closer to making that goal a reality. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

NFVZone Contributing Writer

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