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Voice-over-LTE won't take off until 2015, will have to compete with telephony apps

Mikael Ricknäs | July 8, 2013
Analysts expect to see 12 commercial VoLTE networks with 8 million subscribers by year-end.

The Rich Communication Suite (RCS) Initiative was announced in February 2008, with the purpose of turning the IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) framework, which is also the basis for VoLTE, into standardized services.

This year has seen a growing number of operators launch RCS services -- which include instant messaging, video chat and content sharing -- under the joyn brand. Services are now available in France, Germany, Spain, South Korea and the U.S. from the likes of Orange, Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom.

But not everyone is convinced RCS will help usher in VoLTE and let operators compete with online messaging apps.

"If you decide to develop an RCS solution it has to be extremely good and really be top telecom class and at the same time be able to compete with alternatives from OTT services. That is a tough challenge," said Tommy Ljunggren, vice president of System Development at TeliaSonera's Mobility Services, who wants more VoLTE-compatible devices and better 4G coverage across Europe before considering rolling out telephony over LTE.


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