VoLTE (Voice over LTE)

VoLTE (Voice over LTE)

Realising revenue potential with Voice over LTE  

What is VoLTE?

VoLTE stands for ‘Voice over Long Term Evolution‘. Utilising IMS technology, it is a digital packet voice service delivered over IP via an LTE access network.

Voice calls over LTE are recognised as the industry-agreed progression of voice services across mobile networks, deploying LTE radio access technology.

Who is VoLTE valuable for?

  • Operators
  • OEMs
  • Network vendors
  • Partners
  • Consumers

What are the benefits of VoLTE?

The implementation of VoLTE offers many benefits, both in terms of cost and operation. VoLTE:

  • Provides more efficient use of spectrum than traditional Voice
  • Meets the rising demand for ‘Richer’, more reliable services
  • Eliminates the need to have Voice on one network and data on another
  • Unlocks new revenue potential, utilising IMS as the common service platform
  • Can be deployed in parallel with video calls over LTE and RCS multimedia services, including video share, multimedia messaging, chat and file transfer
  • Increases handset battery life by 40 per cent (compared with VoIP)
  • Delivers an unusually crisp calling experience
  • Provides rapid call establishment time

What is the GSMA doing to help with VoLTE deployment?

Our goal is to achieve a consistent, industry-wide approach to delivering services for LTE. They will embody the following principles:

  1. Promote scale. For VoLTE/video calls over LTE implementation to work, this needs to be based on a single technology and not undermined by fragmentation or diversity. It must work throughout a community of 6 billion+ connections (and growing) and across all networks and devices.
  2. Reduce complexity. A common implementation, adhered to by all, would allow messages and media to be delivered in the best way. Providing consumers with the best quality experience. However, lack of common deployments between networks can detract from the overall quality of the voice/messaging service (e.g. end-to-end HD voice).
  3. Enable Interconnect and Roaming. Seamless roaming can be optimised in the all-IP world. That is if all parties adhere to a single, common implementation of interfaces between every device and network.
    These three principles will underpin how Voice, SMS and RCS will work in the future. They will define the interfaces for end-to-end calling structures, which facilitate interconnect and roaming.

Discover more about Voice over LTE

For more information regarding VoLTE, explore our invaluable resources, Technical support.

“With the support of the GSMA and the Ministry of Science, ICT and future planning, The Republic of Korea were recognised as not only the first country to have launched interconnected VoLTE but also the first country to have migrated its subscriber base to be fully VoLTE interconnected between three operators.”

Sang Heon Lee, SVP, SK Telecom/Sung II Jang, General Manager/Team Leader, SK Telecom
Sung Won Yan, General Manager, KT
Kyung Joong Park, General Manager/Team Leader, LG Uplus

Additional Resources

VoLTE Publications

GSMA Foundry 5G New Calling whitepaper 2023


Tuesday 10 Oct 2023 | 5G | 5G New Calling | Resources | VoLTE |

The communication services landscape is on the brink of significant and revolutionary change. Emerging onto the scene is "5G New Calling" (5GNC), a 5G network capability that will leverage the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). Discover more.

Deploying Enriched Communications – the cost of indecision and inaction for operators


Wednesday 22 Jul 2015 | HD Voice | Qos IP Interconnect | Resources | VoLTE |

Operators who still have not committed to launch Enriched Communications using IP-based services may not be aware of the scale of the impact of this indecision on their business. This slide pack highlights nine key issues that could ...

A burning platform – the need for action


Wednesday 22 Jul 2015 | HD Voice | Qos IP Interconnect | RCS | Resources | VoLTE |

The crowded nature of IP Communication Services market with low barriers to entry for alternative communication suppliers is creating a problem for operators. This slide pack gives some qualitative and quantitative data as an overview ...

Building the case for an IP-communications future – GSMAi Report – Download Now!


Thursday 26 Feb 2015 | IP Communications | Resources | VoLTE |

GSMA Intelligence is today publishing a report on the case for operator-provided IP-communications, and the future of Voice over LTE, Video over LTE, and Rich Communication Services (RCS). Mobile communication has evolved ...

FCM.01 – VoLTE Service Description and Implementation Guide (Version 2.0)


Friday 17 Oct 2014 | Resources | VoLTE |

Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) is the industry recognised solution for providing a rich multimedia HD Voice service over the LTE access technology. VoLTE utilises IMS technology and provides a common platform in which to ...

China Unicom – Openness and Cooperation: Achieving a win-win for Telco and OTT


Monday 28 Jul 2014 | RCS | Resources | VoLTE |

Despite suffering significant losses in their core voice and messaging revenues in recent years, operators now recognise OTT service providers are here to stay. Agile OTT players have progressed quickly by delivering in-demand services ...

Ericsson Mobility Report


Thursday 5 Jun 2014 | Resources | VoLTE |

On the pulse of the Networked Society - Ericsson has performed in-depth data traffic measurements since the early days of mobile broadband from a large base of live networks covering all regions of the world.   The aim of this report ...

VoLTE or VoIP over LTE – Who is the ultimate winner?


Thursday 27 Mar 2014 | Resources | VoLTE |

There are multiple options available today for mobile applications. This includes Over-The-Top (OTT) applications, services that are generally offered by third party (non-operator) developers that can be downloaded from popular app ...

FCM.01 – VoLTE Service Description and Implementation Guide (Version 1.1)


Thursday 5 Dec 2013 | Resources | VoLTE |

Find out about what a VoLTE deployment entails (for single network interconnect and roaming deployments) and gain insight from existing trials, commercial deployments and live operations. The guide builds on existing GSMA Product ...

Validating VoLTE: A definitive guide to successful deployments


Sunday 25 Aug 2013 | Resources | VoLTE |

This book outlines a VoLTE (Voice over Long Term Evolution) test plan that ensures a correct, stable, and effective VoLTE deployment. These scenarios cover major functional and characterization requirements of a VoLTE network. Each ...

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VoLTE News

Zain, Ooredoo and VIVA become First to Launch VoLTE Interconnection in Kuwait

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Zain, Ooredoo and VIVA have become the first mobile operators in Kuwait and in the Middle East and North Africa region to commercially launch a Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) interconnection. The service which is available now between all three networks will offer subscribers with ...

Trends and Analysis: China on the march

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By Henry Calvert Head of Future Networks Programme GSMA Ahead of Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2017 I thought it would be pertinent to focus this month’s trends and analysis update on the Chinese market and examine the development and adoption of IP based communications and ...

Kuwait VoLTE Interconnect CTO Q&A

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The VoLTE (Voice over LTE) interconnection is the first in Kuwait and the first in the Mena region. The decision to interconnect was taken to maximise customer experience in Kuwait and the operators will be launching the interconnected service in March 2017. We spoke to CTOs ...

Trends and Analysis: Global Interconnections Gain Momentum

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  By Henry Calvert, Head of Network 2020 programme, GSMA. Since our last update we’ve seen a number of significant developments in the adoption of all-IP communications services by the global operator community such as Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE), Voice-over-Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) ...

How the GSMA is helping the VoLTE market to grow

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By David O’Byrne, Project Director, GSMA   There have been 507 LTE network launches in 170 countries worldwide so far – a figure that continues to grow – and this exponential rise in deployments has laid the foundations for mobile operators to provide all-IP based ...

GSMA VoLTE project sees first roll-out in China

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In a recent blog, we discussed how the GSMA’s Network 2020 programme was working with China’s mobile network operators, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, to negotiate the technological barriers preventing the deployment of advanced all-IP communications including ...

New GSMA VoLTE specification removes market fragmentation

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David O’Byrne, IP Communications Project Director, GSMA Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is one of the foundational next-generation communications services that global operators are providing to their customers, along with Video over LTE (ViLTE), Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) and ...

South Korea’s Interconnected VoLTE Service Lifts Off

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All of the country’s VoLTE-enabled subscribers are now fully commercially interoperable. This will impact around 35 million subscribers who will be able to enjoy higher quality calls and seamless switching between voice and video, as well as faster connection speeds on all ...

KT Corporation and NTT DOCOMO land world’s first with launch of bilateral VoLTE service

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South Korea’s KT Corporation and Japan’s NTT DOCOMO have become the first network operators in the world to offer their customers a bilateral Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) roaming service. This will mean that customers of either network will have access to high quality, low-latency ...

Russia makes Beeline for VoLTE services

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The rollout of voice over LTE (VoLTE) continues unabated around the globe, with Russian network operator Beeline the latest to join the fray. Beeline, which is owned by VimpelCom, has become the first in the country to move to an all-IP communications solution and offer ...

GSMA Awards Certificate of Special Recognition for Launch of World’s First Commercial Interconnected VoLTE Service in South Korea

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Following the announcement at MWC Shanghai of the launch of the world’s first VoLTE interconnected market in South Korea, the GSMA hosted a panel discussion with the South Korean Regulator and the three operators to discuss lessons learned and problems that were successfully ...

Recent developments in Network 2020 Specifications

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There have been a number of releases of new specifications and updates of existing Permanent Reference Documents (PRDs) in the IP Communications (VoLTE / ViLTE / VoWiFi / RCS) area which Operators, network equipment manufacturers, client developers and handset manufacturers ...

IP Communications Issues Registry

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The IP Communications Issues Registry now contains hundreds of issues and solutions which can be used as a knowledge base for IMS service interoperability, VoLTE, ViLTE and RCS. The GSMA Network 2020 Programme is working to ensure a stable and interoperable platform for the ...

The momentum of launches and interconnections accelerates for the Network 2020 Programme

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Over the last month the Network 2020 Programme has seen the momentum of RCS grow, in terms of launches and interconnection. With RCS regaining drive within the industry, we are seeing more and more devices that have embedded native RCS capabilities. During April 2015 O2 ...

Mobile 360 Series – Latin America Network 2020 at the show

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Join the Network 2020 Programme at the GSMA’s first Mobile 360 Series in Latin America, to be held on the 13th and 14th May 2015 at the Sheraton Rio in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This specialised event will combine a thought-leadership conference with workshops, GSMA Latin ...

Network 2020 Webinar – Interconnected Mobile All-IP Communications and the benefits for Operators

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The latest webinar in our Network 2020 webinar series focused on the benefits of interconnected mobile All-IP communications to the operator. Attendees were able to hear from global operators who are committed to launch interconnected solutions – driving scale and increasing ...

The Network 2020 commercial and retail zone: Business-to-Business All-IP solutions

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Enriched communication solutions offering innovative B-2-B opportunities gave operators some insights into the potential for expanding their propositions. The Network 2020 Programme showed off the breadth and depth of All-IP solutions for commercial and retail applications ...

The operator Network 2020 demonstration table: hands-on All-IP solutions demonstrated live

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One of the key focus areas in this year’s exhibition in the innovation City was a series of demonstrations from operators and leading companies in the All-IP ecosystem – all located around the ‘operator demonstration table’. Discussions with visiting representatives from ...

The All-IP Rich Communications connected car

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In the GSMA’s Innovation city, the Network 2020 Programme were delighted to reveal what is believed to be the first VoLTE and RCS capable connected car. Developed by Summit Tech in collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent, it was parked outside the GSMA’s Innovation City railway ...

GSMAi Report – Building the case for IP Communications – Download now!

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In support of the GSMA’s Network 2020 Programme, a report from GSMA Intelligence was launched the week prior to Mobile World Congress 2015, exploring the rationale for IP-Communications as well as analysing the adoption path in the context of both networks and native ...