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Kineto
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Verizon is not doing CS Fallback for voice on their LTE phones. They are pursuing a dual-radio strategy which is similar to how CDMA networks handle ‘3G’ today. A CDMA network uses a 1xRTT connection (similar to basic GSM) for voice. But recall that 3G data is “EV-DO”, which stands for “data-only”. This means that the 1x connection remains active for voice calls while data runs over the EV-DO network. Apply this to LTE, and LTE becomes a “DO” network, and the 1x network remains active to provide circuit voice services. I don’t think this type of dual-radio approach is available to GSM operators. CDMA networks were developed from the ground up to support a dual-connection 1x + EV-DO. GSM never had the concept of two network connections active simultaneously.
Toggle Commented Dec 16, 2011 on LTE on sale at Voice and SMS over LTE
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Mar 15, 2010
I have to laugh a bit… if anyone thinks that the Solution Architects at T-Mobile in Germany went to the T-Ventures website to find a company that would solve a fundamental issue in LTE then I have some swampland in Florida that I would be happy to sell you… As for operator support, perhaps I was a bit too pessimistic. There is a lot of support in the industry. The public support will come, just not today. The industry really doesn’t understand how bad CS Fallback is yet. As for CSoHSPA+, yes technically VoLGA can support that deployment as well. But what’s the advantage for the operator? HSPA already has a perfectly good, highly efficient circuit channel for voice. But remember, VoLGA isn’t a solution looking for a problem. The problem is landing in the LTE/mobile industry with a thud. Existing voice and SMS services weren’t baked into LTE. If IMS were ready (from a technical or business case perspective), we wouldn’t be having this conversation. If CS Fallback wasn’t so abysmal, there would be no VoLGA Forum. Without a viable voice and SMS solution, LTE dongles are blocked, LTE netbooks are blocked, LTE handsets are blocked,… LTE is blocked. There are some massive companies with enormous bets on LTE infrastructure. If anyone wants to slow-roll LTE, a great idea would be to require operator to completely upgrade their MSC network with a CSFallback feature simply to pass SMS messages to data-only dongles. How many years will that take?
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2009 on VoLGA Moves to Stage 2 at Voice and SMS over LTE
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It’s a fair question. However, I think the underlying question is around ‘other operator support’ of VoLGA. Today T-Mobile has been the only public supporter, where is everyone else? There is actually quite a bit of private support for VoLGA, but more on that later… Let me offer two perspectives: 1. If VoLGA is so great, why aren’t operators publically supporting it?. The short answer is that there is no need too. If you’re an operator who wants to see VoLGA get published, it will get published with or without your name/logo on the web site. You’ll get what you want without having to sign up for anything. It’s assumed that the VoLGA Forum will publish its Stage 3 specifications in Q3 09, so the project is almost complete. 2. If CSFB is so bad, why are operators (like Orange) supporting it? This gets tricky, and honestly calls for speculation on my part. I don’t speak for Orange and I can’t tell you exactly why they are supporting CSFB. But I think we can apply some logic and see where things go. First, it’s ironic that long-time IMS stalwarts like Orange (and others) are being forced to show support for an interim step before the ‘inevitable’ IMS telephony deployment. I’m guessing they must hedge their bets because there is still a lot of risk to IMS telephony. So Orange is going LTE, and Orange knows they need telephony. They publicly state their position is CSFB and then IMS. Let’s run some scenarios: - IMS magically appears at the time they need it. Great. They don’t buy the MSC upgrades required to support CSFB and move directly to IMS. This is unlikely, but I suppose anything could happen. - IMS telephony continues to be delayed, and Orange needs an interim solution. Their options are: CSFB, and now just within the last 3 months, VoLGA. - Orange needs to make sure that there is a viable option for voice, so they can: o Publicly support CSFB. In doing so, they are putting pressure on their MSC vendors to support this feature in a future release of the MSC software. Because MSC software release cycles are very long, support for a feature like CSFB needs to be solidified today to support deployments in 2011. o Not publicly support CSFB. By not supporting CSFB, Orange is telling their MSC vendors it’s not important. With no support, the CSFB doesn’t get implements. In 2011, Orange would have no voice solution for LTE. o Publically support VoLGA. As mentioned above, they don’t need too…yet. The spec will come whether they make a public statement or not. But for a company like Orange to publically support VoLGA, they are effectively discounting their CSFB position. No MSC vendor wants to implement CSFB if no one is going to pay for the feature. As I said, this is my speculation, but any public comment on anything other than CSFB doesn’t help their situation. What do you think?
Toggle Commented Jul 14, 2009 on VoLGA Moves to Stage 2 at Voice and SMS over LTE
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Thanks for the comment. First, the literal answer: “VoLGA is compatible with RCS” means that if an operator has deployed RCS in 3G, that same service can be extended to LTE with VoLGA (assuming it is a combinational service with Voice). This cannot be said for CSFB because CSFB doesn’t use LTE for voice. The point is that RCS as it’s defined today uses CS for voice and IMS for packet services. As VoLGA relies on the same CS core, it can be paired with an RCS/IMS service in the same way the CS connection and RCS application is paired in 3G. Now for the more subjective part of your comment – which is really about the demand for and the importance of RCS. I would turn the comment around a bit. There are many operators who view their long term evolution to IMS for telephony and data (RCS) services. I think your comments reflect the fact that IMS in general is hard. There are a lot of compatibility issues to be worked out. For a mobile operator, rather than starting with the most critical service (voice) which generates the most revenues, why not begin the path to IMS with non-critical data applications like RCS? As you point out, there are a lot of interop issues and a lot of technical learning which come from an RCS deployment. Consumers know what to expect from voice: it’s performance and quality equivalent to the 2G network. So start with VoLGA for voice over LTE today. Test out the LTE network, check the QoS, validate the different interfaces and connection points. As LTE stabilizes, then introduce IMS data services (RCS). Work through interop and compatibility issues. Finally, address voice, the primary revenue generating service. But starting LTE with IMS telephony seems like a LOT of work that’s simply going to delay voice (leaving a void for Skype) and frustrate your most technologically advanced subscribers.
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I appreciate the honesty in your name: "VoLGA_Opposer" :-) As for your comment, I pointed out in the post above that for operators moving towards IMS, they can start VoLGA with IMS for data-centric services (ie RCS) today over LTE. This lets operators being the migration to IMS over LTE. But rather than beginning with IMS for voice, start with IMS for data. I think everyone agrees that IMS for telephony is a ways out. So operators going to LTE will likely need to select a technology like CSFB or VoLGA. Which investment moves the operator towards IMS? VoLGA hands down. CSFB can't support IMS/RCS over LTE. And CSFB requires an investment in MSCs at a time when operators don't want to invest in MSCs (ie they are moving to IMS). VoLGA is a better path to IMS than CSFB. I suppose that its natural to have some opposition to VoLGA. But if you oppose VoLGA, what do you recommend for an operator moving to LTE today? CSFB? It's a train wreck. Spend millions adding a new interface to your MSCs just so you make voice calls over a 3G network (not even the brand new LTE network)? Increase the post-dial delay for in and outbound calls while the handset jumps to a different RAN? And forget about LTE femtocells, what's the point if the handset is only going to fall back to 2G or 3G? IMS is the future for many operators, it's just going to take some time getting there. The question is, while we're waiting, what's the best course of investment.
Toggle Commented Jun 29, 2009 on VoLGA Accelerating LTE at Voice and SMS over LTE
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