VoLTE has come a long way from just being a buzz word. We have seen successful commercial deployments and advanced services used on the network. With that in mind, LTE Voice 2017 will focus on the next stage of voice communication over next generation networks, while analysing the advanced communication services which will be deployed in the 5G & IoT era. What key themes are our attendees likely to be looking out for this year?
Differentiation Through Voice Services
A key goal for operators in launching VoLTE and other advanced communication services is to differentiate themselves and justify charging for the value they deliver. Divya Wakankar, Head of Innovation and Next Generation Services Product Management at BICS told us, “The introduction of LTE has transformed subscriber expectations, providing revolutionary levels of performance and is helping operators differentiate from OTT services through service quality. Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Video over LTE (ViLTE) services allow operators to provide a long-lasting, high definition, low latency, next generation enhanced point-to-point and multi-party voice and video calls for customers. As operators continue to roll-out these services, the number of destinations available for it will increase drastically, creating a virtuous circle of expansion and adoption.”
This is something many of the operators attending LTE Voice will be looking out for at the event. Savo Delic, Senior Mobile Design Engineer, Liberty Global told us, “The key issue will surely be the competition with OTT providers and how to offer something that they do not have.” Arif Otyakmaz, Senior Manager, Network Performance, Vodaphone said he sees being competitive with OTT voice services as the biggest challenge. “Mobile services will need to be at highest carrier level and offer innovative services.”
Find out more from Frank Paterno, VP of Global Carrier Business Development, PGi, who will be speaking on “Driving Differentiation, revenue & stickiness with VoLTE Collaboration” on Tuesday 17th October.
Rich Communication Services
Rich Communication Services are a key topic of discussion at the moment as some advanced messaging features have begun to make it onto the market. As more and more consumers move away from SMS onto other messaging services, RCS as a successor to SMS is sure to be on every operator’s radar. Divya Wakankar, Head of Innovation and Next Generation Services Product Management at BICS explained to us some of the key recent developments in this area: “Rich Communication Services (RCS) has recently once again come into the limelight with a number of operators and OEMs, the GSMA, and Google joining an initiative to make an RCS messaging product available to Android users. RCS offers a huge opportunity for enterprises seeking to take their A2P messaging campaigns to the next level. Apart from allowing enterprises to share video, animations and images, it has two-way messaging built in and can connect to other enterprise systems seamlessly. And it allows a new era of one-to-many communications services for enterprises including file transfer, embedded calls to action and even chatbots such as the one recently launched by Facebook.”
Bianca Löwemann, Proposition Manager Voice & Messaging - Rich Communication Service at Deutsche Telekom, told us, “One of the biggest future strengths for Rich Communications Services (RCS) also proved to be one of its biggest challenges: A standard-based, federated communication system like RCS can only leverage its strengths, such as global reach, if it is present everywhere - like SMS. To fulfil the operator’s promise of providing ubiquitous connectivity on a global scale, the focus is on interconnection between all major operators – and, in a later phase, to include even smaller operators. This means every MNO needs to deploy RCS and to interconnect their RCS back-end with all other RCS MNOs.”
Learn more about the future of Rich Communications Services from Bianca Löwemann, who will be discussing RCS as the new platform and “Customer support for the digital generation” on Wednesday 18th October.
Chatbots have seen huge developments over the last few years and more and more companies have begun to take advantage of this technology. Machine Learning technologies allow brands, through chatbots, to help and converse with the consumer. They could prove a huge opportunity for mobile operators. Bianca Löwemann, Proposition Manager Voice & Messaging - Rich Communication Service at Deutsche Telekom, told us, “This is a concept that has had a huge uptake in the digital landscape as it gives carriers the opportunity to create an even more effective and authentic customer experience by enriching conversations with customers through automated interactions, optimized by AI (Artificial Intelligence) and simplified via preconfigured replies.”
Petja Heimbach, Vice President Communication Products at Deutsche Telekom & Chair of IP Comms Leadership Team at GSMA will be speaking on “New global platforms for conversations, chatbots and commerce” on Wednesday 18th October.
At last year’s LTE Voice the importance and benefits of cloud communications and virtualisation, current hot topics in the industry, came up in several of the presentations. At the Voice Virtualisation pre-conference workshop on Monday 16th October, the challenges which surround virtualising voice services are sure to provoke discussion. This includes methodologies and practicalities on how to effectively virtualise voice services, the security challenges this presents and how to develop effective business models for rolling out voice virtualisation.
The Voice Virtualisation Workshop is taking place on Monday 16th October, featuring speakers from Metaswitch, OTE Group, BT Group and more as well as interactive roundtable discussions.