Voice over LTE – the sound of change

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After attending the 9th edition of the LTE World Summit, we have been hard at work analyzing comments and feedback from the speakers at the conference while also thinking about how we can improve our voice and video solutions to offer a complete and integrated package for the widespread arrival of 4G LTE.

4G LTE is now gaining traction

By envisioning a world where communication is a must-have for on-the-move users, we believe that as wireless networks continue to grow and LTE becomes an established standard, voice and video over IP will become ubiquitous. It will usher in a new era of telecom evolution, as consumers want their smartphones or tablets to always select the most appropriate (and cheapest) method of making calls. Therefore switching to an IP-based system has the undoubted potential to not only make this hand-over more natural but also offer numerous advantages for the end-users.

LTE is bound to pick up speed as coverage across the world continues to grow: for example, Everything Everywhere – a joint venture between communications heavyweights Orange and T-Mobile – have just announced they are deploying their next generation 4G network in the UK while more handset manufacturers have released new devices which provide LTE support. GSMArena.com have also put together a useful list of countries where you can take your newly launched LTE-capable iPhone 5 and benefit from the amazing speeds that the standard can offer.

14_NovaThor L9540 from STEricsson supports LTE

The NovaThor™ L9540 from ST-Ericsson is a high-performance platform solution with a LTE/HSPA+/TD-SCDMA multimode modem and a PowerVR SGX544 GPU

As the adoption of LTE is poised to fundamentally change the structure of voice networks, the development of VoLTE has become a popular topic associated with the debate. This approach to re-engineering voice calls refers to an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-based technology that is designed to deliver voice packets over all-IP LTE networks. Although there have been some mixed messages as to when this transition will eventually take place, we are seeing two clear – but at the same time complementary – routes to the implementation of voice and video services, depending on the maturity of the network.

14_VoLTE - the sound of change2,000+ industry executives attended LTE World Summit 2012 in Barcelona

Firstly, for the highly intermittent LTE coverage, you can rely on circuit-switched fallback (CSFB) to make sure calls are being handed over between the new IP-based networks to the traditional 2G/3G cellular telephony subsystems such that there is a minimum guarantee that the user is still able to continue the conversation, even though being out of the coverage area. The second option, suited for a more mature network, with an aggressive deployment plan, involves implementing voice and video natively over LTE immediately, with the possibility to offer richer multimedia services.

Most operators have had a slow ramp-up due to lack of progress in developing IMS solutions for mobile. Relying on over-the-top (OTT) solutions meant a lack of QoS assurance, as existing VoIP clients go undetected on 3G networks, creating latency problems and over-loading the already crowded cellular grid. But VoLTE is meant to change that, for there is now a dedicated bearer for voice and video and an intelligent handover mechanism, that will allow users to not only continue communicating across networks (think roaming as well) but also devices; a conversation can be started on one’s smartphone or tablet and be seamlessly moved onto his work phone or computer while also switching between 4G or Wi-Fi networks.

Imagination’s HelloSoft family is a complete V.VoIP and  Voice over LTE solution

Imagination has been leading the industry by delivering the HelloSoft V.VoIP and VoLTE platform – a complete software package to enable the rapid adoption and development of these new technologies across multiple platforms and operating systems. We have been providing high quality carrier-grade solutions to overcome the challenges faced by telecom operators and device manufacturers by always expanding our software portfolio to match the requirements of the market. This also bridges the gaps between wireless and wireline next-generation devices, with an innovative suite of products and services aimed at everything from PCs and netbooks, smartphones running on Android, iOS and Windows Mobile, set-top boxes, cable and DSL modems, residential gateways and other embedded devices.

14_VoLTE - the sound of change

HelloSoft V.VoIP & VoLTE solutions platform

We now offer one of the best turn-key solutions available on the market with mobile and embedded SDKs through which our partners will be able to provide everyone with carrier-grade call features, from regular everyday clients that want a simple and intuitive interface to professional enterprise customers who have started to include more and more tablets and smartphones into their functions. There are also amazing features included such as echo cancellation, QoS components – packet loss concealment (PLC), adaptive jitter buffer (AJB), voice activity detector (VAD), comfort noise generator (CNG) and other media engines for advanced signal processing that will enable HD audio and robust calls across a wide range of devices.

For framework support, there’s the HelloSoft IMS and SIP stacks that come with toolkits for developing custom applications and deliver on key features such as support for real time streaming protocols, payload support for wideband codecs, extensive support for security features and many more. Our HelloSoft Handoff Technology supports SRVCC (Single Radio VCC), DRVCC (Dual Radio VCC) and IP2IP, making it a state-of-the-art solution that can address seamless transition on Wi-Fi, WiMAX, WCDMA, EVDO or HSDPA/HSUPA networks while also maintaining a consistent experience by offering uninterrupted  access to contacts and call logs.

It’s more than voice, you can have video too!

Video is a natural addition to VoLTE therefore we are able to provide not just the software that enables this, but also a complete family of video hardware IP cores that can cope with anything from single stream low-definition video acceleration to multi stream high-definition hardware video encode and decode. The PowerVR Series3 and Series4 VPU (Video Processing Unit) IP families offer support for multi-standard formats including H.264 (high, main and base profiles), H.263, MPEG-4, MPEG-2, WMV9/VC-1, AVS and JPEG, offloading the complete video functionality to give the CPU more time to handle other important control tasks. This enables a standard SoC platform to achieve significantly lower power consumption and high performance, while also reducing size and increasing picture quality, all vital elements in the mobile and embedded space.

4G World in Chicago –  annual trade fair for 4G LTE organised by UBM TechWeb

Finally, the HelloSoft Rich Communications Suite brings an integrated voice and video experience  with a vertical, front-end application that has a comprehensive list of standard features such as enriched audio and video calling with in-call images, files and SMS/MMS transfers, conference chat integration, multi-homed session support with login to multiple devices simultaneously, video sharing during a circuit switched call while audio is still in CS mode and support for live video or video playback from a local file.

Interested in our HelloSoft products and services? Then please continue to follow our blog and stay connected to @ImaginationTech for future announcements and interesting developments. We will also be at 4G World conference in Chicago, so drop by if you’re in the area and want to see our demos; there’s even a dedicated event page on our website where you can find more details.

Also, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on how you see LTE taking off in the future and keep the conversation going by sharing this with everyone else.

Saraj Mudigonda

Saraj Mudigonda

Saraj Mudigonda is a director of segment marketing at Imagination Technologies. Previously he was a business development manager for Imagination's HelloSoft V.VoIP products. He has 15 years of experience in the telecommunication industry in Wireless LAN, V.VoIP, and Wireless Communications and started his career as a DSP (Digital Signal Processing) engineer developing, implementing, and optimizing the assembly code for several DSP architectures. He also managed multiple V.VoIP customer projects and was the primary liaison between customers and engineering teams.

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