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VoWiFi: A Win – Win for Subscribers & Mobile Operators

Posted on: September 29th, 2015 by Mobile Communications

Extending voice and messaging coverage by taking advantage of Wi-Fi availability in the home, office and in public hot spots offers a number of key benefits. WiFi deployments around the world are growing rapidly, providing more opportunities for consumers to immediately connect to a resource where they know they can achieve better service and potentially cost savings.
The decision to deploy Voice over WiFi is influenced by factors that might include:

1) Coverage impact – Persistent complaints from a significant portion of a subscriber base may make VoWiFi an attractive alternative that needs to be prioritized.
2) Capital constraints – Costs for additional towers and more femtocells may be offset by a VoWiFi initiative.
3) Operational costs – MVNO’s can improve their bottom lines by offloading traffic
4) Competitive pressure – New services such as video needed to compete with encroaching competition might mean that a robust VoLTE solution is required, with VoWiFi contributing as a supporting feature.

The question of VoWiFi or VoLTE first is one that can become a point of contention. While a complete VoLTE rollout including adding an IMS, EPC and other infrastructure to the network provides a solid technical foundation for VoWiFI as well as other services, it comes with a significant learning curve, capital expenditure and deployment timeline. However, a rapid deployment with an OTT solution, while satisfying a short term need, doesn’t fit in the long term strategy for an operator.

Operators also need to consider how they are positioning themselves for the future. Are you ubiquitous and seen as the service of choice? LTE enables excellent voice calling on peer-to-peer and OTT services. As LTE spreads so will the opportunity for consumer choice. If an operator does not provide voice services where a customer is looking for them, the customer will choose an alternative service provider that does.

Unique in the industry, NewNet has VoWiFi solutions for mobile operators that will integrate into their existing 2G & 3G infrastructure. These VoWiFi solutions are fully compatible with a future VoLTE, IMS and RCS strategy. Operators can and should start deploying VoWiFi now without waiting for a perfect solution – the OTT competition isn’t waiting, and their usage is growing. Review the alternatives and consider the value taking into account the bottom-line financial impact as well as the more subjective benefits such as improved customer satisfaction that can be attained by adding VoWiFi support for subscribers.