LTE is now a market reality and is becoming firmly entrenched as a wireless network standard in markets all over the world. A recent report from the GSA (Global Mobile Supplier Association) stated that the number of commercial LTE networks now stands at 105, deployed across 48 countries. It is anticipated there will be 195 deployments by the end of 2013.
The progress of network development has been rapid. While some operators are still in the trial phase, the first movers to the technology have already deployed commercial ‘voice over LTE’ (VoLTE) services to their subscribers.
According to ARC Charts there will be over 74 million VoLTE enabled handsets in the market by 2016. So far, the delivery of LTE has been reliant on a ‘best-effort’ model to 4G service islands with a fallback in place to 3G networks. However, this will soon be replaced with a fully integrated VoLTE system with a stringent requirement for quality of service (QoS) tolerances to deliver premium quality voice.
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