Complementary Technologies: VoWi-Fi and VoLTE
Learn more from Monica Paolini from Senza Fili and RCR Wireless
Last week, my children used Facetime to chat with me while I was traveling to hear the latest Cisco developments at CiscoLive in Las Vegas. While they love seeing the things around me via the video, it’s the stories they most want to hear. They love to hear about the silly person who sat next to me in the airplane or what I saw in the lobby of the hotel when I was checking in. In return, I really want to hear about the latest in their board game they are playing with each other or their adventures at camp.
As much as we try to replace our communications with text, emails, social media, and other forms of communications, the sound, lilt, and expression in someone’s voice is hard to duplicate using a keyboard or even a picture.
While the application of voice hasn’t changed, how we talk has. No longer are we strapped to a wall telephone with rotary or even push button numbers. Now the voice calls come through our tablets, our mobile phones, and yes, even sometimes the phone that has an outlet in the wall. We have also become accustomed to the fact that we can now get connected anywhere to make those phone calls. In the last couple of years, a lot has been written about how the adoption of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) has driven costs down for our Service Provider customers and provided better voice for the consumers. In fact, VoWi-Fi has also been adopted to address those voice calling demands, in part driven by the fast adoption of non-cellular devices like tablets and laptops. In many ways, VoLTE and VoWi-Fi actually complement each other.
The 2016 Cisco Visual Networking Index observed how voice is following the same trend as data in the adoption of Wi-Fi. “Wi-Fi access has had widespread acceptance by MNOs globally, and it has evolved as a complementary network for traffic offload purposes—offloading from expensive cellular networks on to lower-cost-per-bit Wi-Fi networks. If we draw a parallel from data to voice, we can foresee a similar evolution where VoWi-Fi is evolving as a supplement to cellular voice, extending the coverage of cellular networks through Wi-Fi for voice within the buildings and other areas that have a wider and more optimum access to Wi-Fi hotspots.”
When we spoke with Monica Paolini from Senza Fili in RCR Webcast “Voice comes to the fore again. VoLTE and Wi-Fi Calling redefine voice,” she also suggested that VoWi-Fi and VoLTE appear to be complementing each other instead of competing with each other. The benefit is not limited to our SP audience. Cisco’s Mark Grayson, Distinguished Engineer from Office of the Mobility Cisco CTO, mentions in his exclusive RCR interview how the trends in VoWi-Fi will benefit enteprises and service providers alike.
If you haven’t had a chance to watch the RCR webcast and interview, please check it out before it is archived.