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Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Market Opportunities and Forecast 2013–2018


October 2013




Single-user License: $ 1,995 USD
Company-wide License: $ 4,995 USD
Team License (Up to 5 Users): $ 2,995 USD


4G, LTE, Long Term Evolution, VoLTE, Call Continuity, VoLTE Handover, VoLTE Forecast, VoLTE Challenges, VoLTE Opportunities


Fourth generation (4G) data services are in the deployment stage, but is will be a few years until there is ubiquitous LTE coverage. Meanwhile, there are competitive threats emerging against incumbent carriers' core voice services. This is coming at a time when all bearer services (voice and data) are becoming marginalized due to market expectations, economic conditions, and a coming supply side expansion in terms of network capacity.

There is a technical case to be made for a mass movement to VoLTE. The technology would make roaming easier, alleviate concerns with spectrum, and leverage backhaul. VoLTE is easier on the battery life of phones compared to 3G.

However, because of the tight, global economy, many mobile operators (especially the big pan-European operators) would prefer to leverage their HSPA networks. VoLTE will be exactly how voice is handled a decade from now, but that does not speak to the immediate future.

As mobile network operators (MNO) deploy VoLTE, they will not take a step back in terms of performance from their 3G networks. Even as revenues from voice are deteriorating from the stiffness of competition in each market and from OTT vendors offering voice application services; voice calls still represent the majority revenues.

This research assesses the market drivers and outlook for VoLTE as well as carrier opportunities and challenges. The report forecasts VoLTE growth globally and regionally. The report includes conclusions and recommendations for network operators. The Report also includes vendor analysis from selected companies including Empirix, OpenCloud, Openmind Networks, Samsung, and Tropo.

See Table of Contents for complete list of areas covered.

Report Benefits

  • Global and regional forecast for Voice over LTE (VoLTE)
  • Identify challenges and opportunities for LTE services providers
  • Understand the business drivers and key success factors for VoLTE
  • Identify opportunities for infrastructure providers and application developers
  • Understand LTE technology and supporting next generation network infrastructure


  • OSS/BSS Solution Providers
  • Mobile Network Operators
  • Mobile Software Developers
  • Mobile Payment Service Providers
  • Handset and Tablet Manufacturers
  • Content and Applications Mediators
  • Social Commerce Vendors and providers
  • Mobile Marketing and Advertising Providers
  • Telecommunications Infrastructure Providers

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Current Status, Outlook and Forecasts for Mobile Data
  • LTE 2013 Status Update
  • Structural Issues
  • Standardization: LTe Release 11 and the Roadmap Beyond
  • Mobile Data Subscriptions and Mobile Data Usage
  • LTE Subscriptions
  • Global Market Share by Technology
  • Global Mobile Data Revenue: Overall and LTE Share
  • Voice Over LTE (VoLTE)
  • VoLTE Operation
  • VoLTE, RCS and IMS
  • Alternatives to VoLTE
  • VoLTE Challenges and Opportunities for Mobile Operators
  • Management of Macro Spectrum
  • Greater Efficiency of Micro Spectrum
  • Improved QOS
  • Less Hardware and COTS Equipment
  • Roaming will be Dramatically Easier
  • Less Expensive per Bit Backhaul
  • Comparable Devices Perform Beter on LTE than on 3G Networks
  • Factors that Could Slow the Growth of VoLTE
  • Spectrum Issues Including the Lack of Globally Harmonized Spectrum
  • Lack of Spectrum Coherency in the United States
  • Device Manufacturers are Reticent to Support VoLTE
  • Technical Challenges in the Network
  • Relaxed Rules on Network Sharing in the European Commission
  • The Global Recession Continues
  • The Status of Current VoLTE Mobile Operators
  • VoLTE Outlook by Industry Verticals
  • Oil and Gas Industry
  • Construction Industry
  • Agriculture Industry
  • Mining and Extraction Industry
  • Utilities and Smartgrid
  • Transportation Industry
  • Military/Defence
  • Public Safety
  • Education and Distance Learning
  • Healthcare Industry
  • Global VoLTE Outlook and Forecasts by Region
  • Asia Pacific
  • Australia
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Forecast Asia Pacific VoLTE
  • Central and Latin America
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Mexico
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rest of Central and Latin America
  • Forecast Central and Latin America VoLTE
  • Eastern Europe
  • Hungary
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Rest of Eastern Europe
  • Forecast Eastern Europe VoLTe
  • Middle East and Africa
  • Continental Africa
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Africa
  • Rest of Middle East and Africa
  • Forecast Middle East and Africa VoLTE
  • North America
  • Timeline of Activities in the North American Market
  • AT&T
  • Bell Mobility
  • Clearwire
  • Rogers Wireless
  • Sprint
  • Telus Mobility
  • T-Mobile/MetroPCS
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Rest of Region North America
  • Forecast North America VoLTE
  • Western Europe
  • Strategies of the Pan-European Mobile Carriers
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • Rest of Western Europe
  • Forecast Western Europe VoLTE
  • Roll-Up Forecast Global VoLTE
  • Vendor Analysis
  • Empirix
  • OpenCloud
  • Openmind Networks
  • Samsung
  • Tropo
  • Conclusions and Recommendations
  • Appendices
  • LTE Technology and Architecture
  • LTE Technology
  • LTE Advanced
  • LTE Infrastructure Elements and Architecture
  • LTE Architecture Details
  • Service Architecture
  • Layer 2 of LTE
  • Downlink Logical
  • Uplink Logical
  • Mobility Across ENBS
  • IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)
  • IMS Planes
  • IMS Network Elements
  • Service Centralized and Continuity Application Server (SCC)

List of Graphs

  • Figure 1: Market Share by Wireless Technology
  • Figure 2: VoLTE Commitments and Deployments, GSA May 2013
  • Figure 3: Public Safety LTE Network
  • Figure 4: LTE E-UTRAN Infrastructure Network Elements
  • Figure 5: LTE EPC Infrastructure Network Elements
  • Figure 6: Understanding LTE Network Elements and Channels
  • Figure 7: IMS Planes
  • Figure 8: IMS Model
  • Figure 9: Service Centralized and Continuity Application Server

List of Tables

  • Table 1: LTE in 2013
  • Table 2: Formal Status of LTE Release 10, 11, and 12
  • Table 3: Mobile Data Subscriber Forecast 2G/3G and LTE (M) 2013-2018
  • Table 4: Mobile Data Usage per Subscriber for 2G/3G and LTE (M) 2013-2018
  • Table 5: LTE Subscriptions, by Region, Subscriptions Millions, 2013-2018
  • Table 6: Global Mobile Operator Revenue from Data ($M) and % of LTE 2013-2018
  • Table 7: Asia Pacific VoLTE Subscribers, VoLTE Revenue and VoLTE POP, Revenues (US$ M) Subscribers and POP in Thousands, 2013-2018
  • Table 8: Brazil Mobile Subscriptions (as of May 2013), Subscriptions in Millions, % of Overall Market
  • Table 9: CALA VoLTE Subscribers, VoLTE Revenue and VoLTE POP, Revenues (US$ M) Subscribers and POP in Thousands, 2013-2018
  • Table 10: Local Eastern European Mobile Operators Owned by Pan-European Operators, Subscribers in Millions, Ownership by Operator
  • Table 11: Eastern Europe VoLTE Subscribers, VoLTE Revenue and VoLTE POP, Revenues (US$ M) Subscribers and POP in Thousands, 2013-2018
  • Table 12: Middle East and Africa VoLTE Subscribers, VoLTE Revenue and VoLTE POP, Revenues (US$ M) Subscribers and POP in Thousands, 2013-2018
  • Table 13: Long-Term Objectives of Sprint Network Vision
  • Table 14: North America VoLTE Subscribers, VoLTE Revenue and VoLTE POP, Revenues (US$ M) Subscribers and POP in Thousands, 2013-2018
  • Table 15: European Countries Where Pan-European Carriers have National Markets
  • Table 16: Vodafone LTE and RCS/joyn® Presence in Europe
  • Table 17: Western Europe VoLTE Subscribers, VoLTE Revenue and VoLTE POP, Revenues (US$ M) Subscribers and POP in Thousands, 2013-2018
  • Table 18: Global VoLTE Subscribers, VoLTE Revenue and VoLTE POP, Revenues US$ Millions, Subscribers and POP in Thousands, 2013-2018