By Alfonso San Jose, Sales Consulting Systems Engineer
Now that LTE networks have been rolled out by most of the service providers in the world, the next objective for operators is the migration of the voice service to the LTE network. This migration is known as Voice over LTE or VoLTE.
VoLTE brings the two sides of the same coin. On the one hand, VoLTE is bringing multiple benefits for service providers (spectrum efficiency, high quality voice, OPEX & CAPEX reduction, etc) but on the other hand, VoLTE service is also bringing some challenges. Those challenges have an special impact on the Policy Management solutions currently deployed for Data Services as this node becomes a critical node in the network for VoLTE.
Policy Management plays a significant role in VoLTE and becomes a mandatory node in the network. This node is responsible for establishing and releasing, on behalf of the IMS domain, the bearer required to accommodate voice traffic.
According to the Cisco Mobile Visual Networking Index (VNI), mobile data traffic grew 2.6 fold in 2010, nearly tripling for the third year in a row. Growing mobile data demand caused by the huge growth of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices is continuing to drive the evolution of mobile networks worldwide.
However, if not properly managed and monetized, this growth in traffic will outpace growth in revenues. Intelligence, scalability, reliability, and service enablement are all key factors in helping mobile operators not only control this huge wave of mobile data, but also launch new, revenue-generating services.
Mobile Policy and Charging Control (PCC) is one of the main tools used to manage and monetize mobile traffic. This is pushing the policy market into hyper-growth mode. According to Infonetics Research Analyst Shira Levine, policy management revenues were up 48% last year, and will quadruple by 2015.
“The policy engine is the brains of how you want the network to treat different things at different times. It’s essential.” Tony Melone, CTO of Verizon Communications, Fierce Wireless, March 16, 2011