Global voice over LTE (VoLTE) connections will grow to 3.33 billion by 2021, according to research by analyst firm Ovum.
There are currently 324 million VoLTE connections but Ovum believes that by 2021 the technology will have penetrated 53% of total cellular subscriptions worldwide.
The biggest factors driving the growth of VoLTE services will stem from operators reducing costs and moving services from voice to mobile broadband. They are also being incentivised by a growing number of compatible devices and successful VoLTE service launches by competitors.
“The better spectral efficiency of moving voice to VoLTE allows spectrum to be re-purposed for mobile broadband. Longer-term, there is the potential to shut down legacy 2G/3G networks and simplify the network,” said Craig Skinner, principal analyst at Ovum.
Paul Lambert, senior analyst at Ovum concludes: “Although there are direct benefits from VoLTE to end-users in terms of faster call set-up times, simultaneous voice-and-data sessions and improved voice quality, it is operators rather than consumers that are driving VoLTE uptake. In the future operators will be able to use VoLTE to offer new services, or enhance existing services with new features.”
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