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Friday, February 24, 2012

Delivering Voice over HSPA

Over the next few years HSPA will be, based simply on sheer projected number of devices, the overwhelming technology for delivering mobile broadband technology to consumers. The consensus is that this will continue to be the case through the remainder of the decade, even as Long Term Evolution (LTE) begins proliferating.

As a result, the mobile industry is continually striving to improve HSPA technology. One important facet of this effort relates to the delivery of voice services. Up to now, mobile voice services have been delivered by service providers using traditional circuit-switched (CS) technology. Largely absent have been the benefits to be derived from leveraging packet-switched (PS) and Internet Protocol (IP) based technologies by operators. (This is in contrast to third party, over the top voice over IP [VoIP] services.)  The industry is poised, however, to introduce voice services using PS, IP-based technologies. Once deployed, both mobile network operators and consumers stand to benefit significantly from more innovative, robust and efficient services.

This paper describes the technological features that are being developed to make Voice over HSPA (VoHSPA) a reality. It describes the two potential options for VoHSPA. The first option leverages IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) technology developed in conjunction with Long Term Evolution (LTE), and is referred to as IMS Voice over HSPA or simply IMS Voice. The other option delivers voice by modifying existing circuit-switch based techniques so that those communications can be transmitted over an HSPA infrastructure, and is referred to as CS Voice over HSPA (CSoHS).

This paper reports on the status of the ecosystem for commercializing the needed technology features under both options. As detailed later in the paper, with one exception, all of the features considered necessary for a robust VoHSPA service are available now or will be available from vendors in 2012-2013 for operator testing and validation.

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