VoLTE capable smartphone shipments to reach 950 million by 2020

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) capable smartphone shipments will grow at a CAGR of 33% between 2015 and 2020, eventually accounting for over 950 million unit shipments by the end of 2020, according to SNS Research.

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The report said that VoLTE services will account for nearly $120 billion in annual service revenue by 2020, as mobile operators remain committed to VoLTE as the long term solution to secure a fully native IP based telephony experience. It however said that traditional voice services will constitute a major proportion of this figure. Over 12% of the revenue will be driven by video calling and supplementary services, the report estimate.

First deployed by South Korean operators in 2012, VoLTE is beginning to gain momentum globally. As of Q3’2015, more than 20 operators have commercially launched VoLTE services and several roaming and interoperability agreements are already in place.

Almost all VoLTE operators are committed to migrate existing mobile voice subscribers to LTE in order to refarm their 2G and 3G spectrum, the study said, adding that some telcos are integrating their VoLTE services with WiFi calling to offer voice services in areas where their licensed spectrum coverage is limited. VoLTE (Voice over LTE) technology allows a voice call to be placed over an LTE network, enabling operators to reduce reliance on legacy circuit-switched networks. Powered by IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) architecture, VoLTE brings a host of benefits to mobile operators ranging from the ability to refarm legacy 2G and 3G spectrum to offering their subscribers a differentiated service experience through capabilities such as HD voice and video telephony.

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