Friday, March 8, 2013

Dancing VoLTE style with Psy to build an indispensable telco platform

In 2013, nothing says you’ve hit the commercial mainstream more than going Gagnam Style with Korean rapper Psy.  So it was fun to stumble across a commercial the superstar made for the South Korean operator LG U+.

What’s especially fascinating here is the fact that LG U+ is promoting VoLTE so explicitly.  There have been doubts in some quarters about whether VoLTE was anything but a replacement service.  We disagree with that, of course. We see VoLTE, in conjunction with RCS, as an indispensable platform to deliver HD voice, video and multimedia services across multiple devices and access technologies.

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Telefónica demonstrated a seamless voice call handover from a 4G to a 3G mobile network, and they summed its strengths up nicely in a release:

“A key advantage of VoLTE is that it can be combined with several enhanced IP-based services such as High Definition Voice, presence, location, and Rich Communication Suite (RCS) additions like instant messaging, video share and enhanced phone books. Moreover, VoLTE enables prioritization over other data streams to deliver consistently high quality service levels.”

In short, VoLTE is a way for telcos to build on their historic strengths as they enter the all-IP age, so it’s nice to see LG U+ taking it up Gagnam Style. The company has competition in the Korean VoLTE market too.  SK Telecom launched VoLTE at the same time as LG U+ last year, and it is aggressively pushing both HD voice and the RCS-based service joyn, in conjunction with VoLTE. 

And now that we’ve brought up HD voice, we also see it gaining some traction with the public.  It might not be Psy-level, but GSMA made HD voice T-shirts that were distributed at the Mobile World Congress.

And that makes us want to dance “VoLTE style” with Psy once again.

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