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Faster route to market for VoLTE services as Ericsson embraces new GSMA initiative

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Ericsson embraces the GSMA's initiative for Open Market Devices aiming to support faster operator launches of VoLTE and Wi Fi calling services.

By adopting the new GSMA initiative for Open Market Devices (OMD), Ericsson supports the faster alignment of technologies across networks and devices for globally interoperable voice and video calling over LTE and Wi-Fi.

VoLTE subscriptions are expected to reach 2.3 billion by 2021 according to the Ericsson Mobility Report June 2016. To date there are more than 60 VoLTE networks in more than 35 countries. The Open Market Devices initiative supports the industry to increase the number of VoLTE devices on the market and decreases the amount of device testing needed prior to market launch.

VoLTE is based on the GSMA's specifications called IR.92 (for voice and SMS over LTE) and IR.94 (for video calling over LTE), which were released the first time back in 2009. Additionally, the specification for Wi-Fi calling (IR.51) was released in 2014, using IR.92 as the foundation.

These profiles have since then been used by the industry to develop mobile networks, chipsets for devices and LTE smartphones to enable commercial launches of globally interoperable VoLTE services. With the Open Market Devices profile, further guidance is given to support the industry to scale services faster.

This new specification has been jointly developed by the GSMA, operators, and network and device vendors. Ericsson has been a main driver and contributor in the joint work to improve the specification by the introduction of common and consistent mobile network parameters and aligned device configurations.

Håkan Djuphammar, Head of Technology, Business Unit Cloud & IP at Ericsson, says: "This announcement is a very positive development for network and device vendors, operators and consumers alike. It broadens the range of devices, making it easier and quicker to bring products and services to a rapidly-growing market."

OMD will ensure that all VoLTE-enabled LTE smartphones will be pre-configured with the standard VoLTE, video calling over LTE, and Wi-Fi calling profiles.

Consumers will benefit from an increased variety of VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling capable devices, and will also be able to use high-quality voice and video calling when roaming.

One of the main benefits for operators is decreasing the level of device testing necessary. If a device complies with the OMD profile, there is no need for the operators to engage with all device manufacturers (OEMs) to have an operator-specific profile in the devices before launching VoLTE to their customers. A common profile for all operators with agreed parameter names and possible value ranges make it easier for device manufacturers to make market-ready products and reduce the need for testing.

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Tags: ericsson  gsma  volte  wi-fi