knowledge centre

Addressing the customer experience challenges in VoLTE

Justin van der Lande Principal Analyst, Research

DOWNLOAD FREE REPORT

VOLTE report - addressing the customer need

This latest report delivers insight on: the VoLTE opportunity for CSPs;  the challenges that VoLTE represents for customer experience;  the key requirements of systems for effective customer experience and organisational structure transformation needed. 

VoLTE services are already being aggressively deployed in mature markets, driven by market pressure to deliver a better voice experience to subscribers.

In the short term this is about the retention of customer revenues.

 

In the longer term, the deployment of VoLTE services is a way to reduce the cost of calls and overall operations for communications service providers (CSPs) through the rationalisation of services onto a single network technology.

VoLTE will ultimately replace a highly reliable, high-quality voice service currently delivered by 2G/3G and using circuit-switched technology.

Subscribers are accustomed to the quality of current services and this defines their minimum expectations for any new voice technology.

Getting the VoLTE services right is key to reducing customer churn

Revenues for voice services are under pressure in nearly all markets and voice services are therefore often not seen to be as strategic as other services.

However, poor voice calls, particularly at significant locations such as office or home addresses, is still the most likely reason that customers churn.

Getting the VoLTE services working as well or better than current voice services is therefore very important for CSPs.

VoLTE services are complex in comparison to the established technology, as VoLTE uses IP packets as opposed to circuit-switched network transport technology.

IP and LTE technologies were not created to transport voice traffic, but were initially developed to transport data which is not as time-sensitive. To overcome this, voice data packets are prioritised over other data traffic to ensure timely, reliable packet transfer.

Further challenges relate to VoLTE calls needing to interconnect with 2G/3G services; this requires a degree of interworking with current technologies which can cause delays in call set-up and call hand-offs.

Ensuring VoLTE services deliver on customer expectations

To ensure VoLTE quality is maintained, three core technologies that make up VoLTE need to be monitored:

  • the IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem)
  • evolved packet core (EPC)
  • the eUTRAN radio access network.

Key performance indicators/key quality indicators (KPIs/KQIs) created from these systems enable operational teams in CSPs to resolve issues that impact customer experience and anticipate problems before they create an impact.

The ability to understand the impact of an event on a specific subscriber is more complex as each event needs to be correlated against each customer's usage and service profile.

Understanding the services, applications, device and profile of customers help predict what impact network and infrastructure issues will actually have.

This requires the use of large volumes of data, the ability to find key insights and then be able to act on them.

Vendors have developed solutions that bring this capability to market to ensure the VoLTE services deliver on customer expectations and ensure the success that the CSPs need.

Figure 1: Mobile architectures include legacy and VoLTE technology [Source: Analysys Mason, 2016]

Mobile architectures include legacy and VOLTE