VoLTE outperforms 3G, Skype, says new study

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A US-based study claims to prove that Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) technology provides superior call quality to 3G circuit-switched voice calling and IP services such as Skype.

The study, carried out by Signals Research Group (SRG) on part of AT&T’s commercially active VoLTE network, also found that the next generation technology provided faster connectivity and had a substantially lower hit on mobile battery life.

For example, VoLTE call setup was almost twice as fast than on 3G and used far less network services than Skype voice calling.

With network loading, and in particular with background applications running on the mobile phone and transferring data with the network, the study found that VoLTE results performed “considerably better” than Skype.

SRG said it conducted the study using “everyday conditions” between June and July this year in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of the US.

Michael Thelander, CEO of SRG, commented: “VoLTE delivered a consistently higher call quality than Circuit Switched voice and Over-the-Top (OTT) applications. While other network or background traffic downloading on a smartphone could bring Skype voice to its knees, there was no indication that it impacted the VoLTE call.

“In addition, VoLTE really shined when it came to its network requirements, consuming far less than a Skype voice call which translates into a meaningfully longer smartphone battery life.”

According to SRG’s VP of Network Technologies Emil Olbrich, choosing VoLTE was “a no brainer” for mobile operators.

He added: “Operators should also strongly consider the long-term network savings associated with VoLTE, given that it takes advantage of advanced features that allow it to use far less network resources when it comes to supporting a voice call when compared with current OTT voice applications.”

Users of VoLTE are set to break through the 50 million mark this year, according to Infonetics Research, although operators are making very little money from it.

In Europe, operators are still in VoLTE testing mode. Last week, Vodafone UK moved closer to a commercial launch of the technology after holding trials in its Newbury head offices.

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