[Shenzhen, China, April 14, 2023] GlobalData, a leading information services company, and Huawei jointly released a white paper — The 5G Voice Transition: Managing the Complexity. It describes the current challenges facing operators who run voice networks over multiple generations, and proposes building a convergent voice network that would solve network transition issues. It also points out that the high-value services supported by the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) data channel are the new development direction for voice.
Voice Is Still One of Operators’ Most Important Services
GlobalData surveyed 50 mobile operators around the world on their voice services’ strategies and challenges. Andy Hicks, lead author of the white paper and Senior Principal Analyst at GlobalData, said that although Internet-based voice and video calls have been growing in popularity, operators’ voice services are still indispensable to people’s everyday life thanks to their high reliability and stability. As many as 82% of surveyed operators think that voice and SMS services are as important or almost as important as data services, even in the 5G era. In addition, the survey shows that following the disruptions caused by COVID-19, voice traffic on most networks has stabilized. In fact, on a few networks, it has even increased.
Convergent Voice Is the Preferred Choice for Multi-Generation Networks
As networks evolve, operators may provide voice services over multiple network generations from 2G to 5G. This leads to problems such as increased operational expenditures, difficult VoLTE roaming, and complex network transition. 32% of surveyed operators indicated they will not continue to invest in 2G and 3G networks after they enter the end phase of their lifecycle, up from 17% in 2020. These operators must therefore seek other ways to provide traditional services while they migrate their users to 4G and 5G. Some of them are considering using convergent voice solutions to improve performance while reducing OPEX. In addition, a convergent voice solution can greatly simplify VoLTE roaming, accelerate VoLTE adoption, maximize spectrum utilization, and promote large-scale commercial use of 5G.
The Voice Industry Is Embracing More Service Innovation Opportunities
As 5G ramps up, operators need to leverage more innovative high-value services to open revenue streams on top of traditional voice services, the white paper says. It further notes that the latest 3GPP standards have defined a new way to do this: the IMS data channel. This innovation allows users to transmit data in parallel with voice, thereby enabling interactive communication and new services such as 5G New Calling, which can bring amazing experiences like visualized voice calling, real-time translation, and fun calling. Operators can use the IMS data channel to create more services, further improve the user experience, and rejuvenate voice services in 5G.
Click here to read The 5G Voice Transition: Managing the Complexity