Operators are stuck between a rock and a hard place: They need to recycle spectrum from legacy circuit-switched networks for 5G, but don’t want to leave their remaining 2G and 3G customers stranded.
Voice over LTE (VoLTE), an IP-based voice transport mechanism, offers operators a tantalising solution, but rolling out the technology on their home networks only solves part of the problem. In order to capitalise on key revenue opportunities and ensure customers continue to have access to critical voice services when traveling abroad, operators need to strike VoLTE roaming agreements with global counterparts. To date, though, few have done so.
This paper examines the hurdles operators are up against in pursuing VoLTE roaming agreements, the risks they face if they put off striking deals for too long and the tools that are available to help them move forward on a journey that is certain to be rewarding.