As of November 2016, there were more than 530 networks across 180 countries with LTE networks in place, providing 4G data coverage to 58 percent of the world’s population. Voice, in the form of VoLTE, is following fast, with 86 networks in production in nearly 50 countries. VoLTE-capable handsets are proliferating, with over 220 devices now available.
So what next, once you’ve got your shiny new VoLTE network operational? Roaming, of course. In order to protect and increase the revenue from all of your VoLTE network, you need to let your users roam onto other VoLTE networks, and you need to let other users roam onto yours. However, to date, there have been only seven unilateral and two bilateral VoLTE roaming agreements announced. This is testament to the fact that this is a confusing space, with three different models for supporting roaming defined in the standards.
These three models are:
Currently, all live roaming agreements use the S8HR option for simplicity. However, it is expected that the LBO options will be used by the great majority of operators because they do not suffer from the limitations faced by S8HR in areas like lawful intercept, emergency calling and eSRVCC handovers.
No matter which vendor you have selected for your mobile IMS core, you can confidently select Perimeta from Metaswitch for your VoLTE roaming requirements. With all three roaming models supported, plus a wealth of additional interoperability features developed to respond to real-world issues not covered by standards, Perimeta will allow you to implement whichever roaming model you choose, even supporting different models for different roaming partners.
As the proven leader in cloud-native SBCs, Perimeta will also get you there fast, allowing you to turn up new roaming interconnects in days not months, and to locate that SBC resource in the most efficient location for you. Supporting both VMware and OpenStack, or even bare metal COTS servers if desired, and a range of different functional splits, Perimeta offers market-leading deployment flexibility.
The network-wide licensing model ensures your license usage is as optimal as your physical resource usage, automatically adjusting to changes in calling patterns as your roaming agreements evolve.
So, whether you are a mobile network operator looking to extend your existing VoLTE network with roaming support, or are just planning your VoLTE deployment, or even if you are an IPX carrier seeking to ensure you are able to support all of the VoLTE roaming models set in the standards, then Perimeta is the best-of-breed choice in today’s communications world.