Adapting IP Centrex and B2B services to VoLTE – ready for 5G
VoLTE has been widely adopted but many existing and legacy IP Centrex, mobile PBX and B2B platforms are not compatible with this core network service. With 5G spreading fast, leaving key revenue generating services behind on legacy networks will increase costs and reduce customer experience. With VoLTE roaming coming soon, isn’t it time to act?
VoLTE is now default in many networks
According to figures from the GSA, there are now more than 270 MNOs are investing in VoLTE, across 120 countries – of which, 224 have launched commercial services. While few have launched roaming services, that’s sure to come in the next few years, given the imminent shut-down of many 3G and 2G networks, removing the option of circuit-switched fallback.
So, while VoLTE has been around for some time, there’s been both considerable recent activity and we can expect much more to come. However, even when VoLTE has been deployed, it is often the case that it has not been enabled for an existing IP Centrex or Cloud PBX offer.
This seems to be because many IP Centrex platforms do not support integration with new VoLTE servers. They may, in some cases, be compatible with an IMS, but have not followed the necessary evolution path to enable full integration via Diameter to the VoLTE application server.
Legacy IP Centrex platforms are often incompatible with VoLTE and core network evolution
As a result, we’re starting to see IP Centrex replacement projects driven by the need to move to VoLTE for all voice services. Legacy platforms are being left behind, even while VoLTE usage has grown. In some cases, the existing platform cannot integrate with the IMS core either, so not only is it unable to support higher-quality voice services, it also exists as an isolated silo – which leads to significant overheads.
We’ve been delivering VoLTE-enabled services since the first wave of VoLTE deployments, back in 2015. Our solutions are fully-aligned with IMS and standards-based evolution paths and enable graceful transition from legacy silo or basic IP solution to a platform that can be future-proofed to match your network evolution plans.
VoLTE integration is essential – why?
VoLTE compatibility and integration is going to become an essential requirement for many operators, for three reasons. First, as we’ve already noted, VoLTE roaming is coming, so legacy platforms will undermine the experience you seek to offer customers and, worse, will no longer be compatible with mandatory emergency services. If you are seeking to offer roaming-enabled business services (inbound or outbound), that’s going to be a problem.
Second, 5G also leverages VoLTE, so new 5G business services will depend on the ability to operate in this environment. If your existing IP Centrex or other B2B voice services are not compatible with this, your customers will be left behind.
Third, the ongoing cost of maintaining legacy platforms alongside newer, more integrated solutions will grow – and could become a drag on resources, particularly when Circuit-Switched voice is gradually retired due to the closure of 3G and 2G networks.
So, if you are trying to streamline services, make the full transition to VoLTE and to prepare for full VoLTE roaming, then you need to think about how your IP Centrex and B2B service portfolio fits into your strategic evolution. Why not talk to us and see how we can help retire legacy services and provide a consolidated platform for future service evolution, fully aligned with your VoLTE and 5G roadmap?
 VoLTE Update October 2020 – Global Status, GSA