Voice is not dead – but how do you make the most of VoLTE?
Making the most of VoLTE starts with enabling convergence but that’s just the beginning. For business customers, VoLTE can be the foundation of a whole class of new use cases and enriched service offers, but you need to start with the right platform and the right approach to support future evolution.
STL Partners, the team behind Telco 2.0 has recently published an intriguing report into VoLTE. With the subtitle “voice beyond the phone call”, the report argues that VoLTE can provide the opportunity for telcos to deliver new, IP-based voice and messaging solutions.
We agree. VoLTE offers a number of benefits but it doesn’t provide a source for generating new revenue, in and of itself, at least not with traditional business models. Consumers are unlikely to pay a premium for VoLTE on its own but that may not be the point. In practice, VoLTE should be a seen as a platform that can be used as the foundation of a creative approach to new voice services and new ways of integrating voice into other applications – and as the foundation of a new class of enterprise services for which customers will pay a premium.
We’ve already started to see this. Several of our customers have deployed VoLTE but have used it in conjunction with classical B2B services to offer enhanced experiences to business customers and more are set to follow. While today’s challenge has primarily been concerned with delivering a consistent set of B2B services across all available networks – which means to a growing pool of VoLTE users, as well as to those on 4G, 3G and so on – tomorrow’s challenge is to extend this offer with new capabilities and service enhancements that can be realised in the VoLTE world.
In this context, making the most of VoLTE starts with ensuring service parity and convergence for users while at the same time preparing to enable new functionality, a we have done in several large-scale cases with Tier 1 operators. This can only be achieved with the right platform that enables new offers to be created in combination with other assets. However, that’s just the beginning. Telcos will build on this and we anticipate a whole class of new use cases to emerge.
For example, with increased adoption of IoT applications, there will be a need to blend complex voice scenarios with data-driven applications – think of an alert from a health monitoring device that results in a call to emergency responders, with the automated provision of location information and so on. Consider also multi-party, real-time collaboration in a surgical procedure, in which the participants might be in different continents. We’re not there yet but VoLTE will be a key enabler to support this kind of innovation and service evolution.
So, voice is definitely not dead. It continues to thrive and flourish and remains an essential business tool, but it’s also one that can evolve in some interesting and potentially valuable source of revenue. We may be moving beyond pure minutes, but enhanced minutes and blended applications that require voice interaction in NGN network will depend on VoLTE and the potential to perform complex call handling and service logic manipulation – in other words, using the capabilities of Gintel’s proven business voice solutions in new and interesting use cases. Are you exploring what VoLTE can do for your business customers and partners? Why not find out how we can help?