New 5G Americas white paper highlights technology advancements from 4G VoLTE to 5G VoNR
BELLEVUE, Wash. February 9, 2021 – Mobile voice service continues to play an integral role in the world of mobile wireless communications. 5G Americas, the wireless industry trade association and voice of 5G and LTE for the Americas, today announced the publication of a white paper The Future of Voice in Mobile Wireless Communications, providing an update on radio access network evolution and cloud infrastructure evolution for voice services in the 5G ecosystem.
As voice calls have moved from circuit-switched 2G/3G networks to 4G packet-switched Voice-Over-LTE (VoLTE) networks, customers have benefited from new features such as Enhanced Voice Services (EVS) codec-based HD voice, Video calling, and Rich Communication Services (RCS). The emergence of 5G networks is now opening the door to 5G Voice-Over-New-Radio (VoNR), which offers compelling new opportunities to improve call quality, reduction of operational costs for network operators, and faster network technology migration.
Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas said, “The foundations for commercial grade VoNR have been laid out in 3GPP Release 15 and 16, so as more network operators launch 5G standalone networks, it’s reasonable to believe some commercial VoNR service could be available in late 2021 or early 2022.”
The migration path to VoNR offers several challenges to ensure that voice calling is not disrupted for consumers. Most of the wireless industry has been taking a phased approach to introducing 5G into the existing networks, so as 5G networks transition from non-standalone to standalone, an Evolved Packet System Fallback (EPSFB) will be a temporary solution that will eventually lead to full VoNR.
Under non-standalone 5G networks, IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) services, including voice calling, will utilize the LTE network without impacting the control plane signaling. When 5G standalone (SA) becomes mature, NSA and SA will coexist in operator’s networks, so will need to interact to ensure existing voice services, including E911 over NR, function properly. Beyond the network architecture, network operators will also have to consider the overall device ecosystem – as well as their existing infrastructure and spectrum allocation – and specific regulatory requirements for their region.
Said Pearson, “While it’s important for operators to consider introducing VoNR service early and migrate their customers to it as soon as possible, we are still in the early stages and VoNR will continue to develop and evolve along with the evolution of 5G and beyond.”
The white paper, developed and written by a 5G Americas technical work group, provides an easy to read and understand reference document, and includes these topics:
- Overview of 5G Voice Services
- Device Ecosystem
- Network Architecture
- Regulatory Service Requirements
- Overview and Comparison of 5G VoNR and EPSFB
- OTT and Other Alternative Voice Solutions Over 5G
- Interoperability & Roaming
David Krauss, Principal of Network Architecture at Ciena, and co-leader of the Working Group that developed the white paper, said, “We often forget that the mobile computer we carry around in our pockets is still referred to as a ‘phone.’ Wireless networks were first designed for voice, and it remains a critical real-time application today. Building a network that can adapt is crucial in managing reliable, high-quality and robust mobile voice services.”
Karri Kuoppamaki, SVP of Network Technology Development and Strategy at T-Mobile said, “5G offers a great deal of flexibility in managing voice traffic, as well as improved interoperability, roaming, enhanced quality through network slicing, and support for additional operator networks and virtual networks. Congratulations to Jun Liu from T-Mobile and the rest of the team working to push the wireless industry forward on this important milestone.”
The paper The Future of Voice in Mobile Wireless Communications is available for free download on the 5G Americas website. Blog post by Chris Pearson, and presentation slides are also featured on the 5G Americas website.
About 5G Americas: The Voice of 5G and LTE for the Americas
5G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization’s mission is to facilitate and advocate for the advancement and transformation of LTE, 5G and beyond throughout the Americas. 5G Americas is invested in developing a connected wireless community while leading 5G development for all the Americas. 5G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. More information is available at 5G Americas website and Twitter.
5G Americas’ Board of Governors Members include AT&T, Cable & Wireless, Ciena, Cisco, Crown Castle, Ericsson, Intel, Mavenir, Nokia, Qualcomm Incorporated, Samsung, Shaw Communications Inc., T-Mobile US, Inc., Telefónica, VMware and WOM.
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