VoWifi (Voice over Wi-Fi)

VoWifi (Voice over Wi-Fi)

Keeping customers connected without a mobile signal 

What is VoWi-Fi?

VoWi-Fi stands for Voice over (EPC-integrated) Wi-Fi. VoWi-Fi is a complementary technology to VoLTE and utilises IMS technology to provide a packet voice service delivered over IP via a Wi-Fi network. Where possible, VoLTE calls may be seamlessly handed over between LTE and Wi-Fi and vice versa. Conversational video is also possible via Wi-Fi (see ViLTE).

Who benefits from VoWi-Fi?

  • Operators
  • Consumers

What is the value of VoWi-Fi?

Both end-users and those in the mobile industry will benefit from Voice over Wi-Fi.

Consumers:

  • Can make calls without the need for a mobile signal (e.g. in a remote location or from within a property with thick walls
  • Benefit from security based on SIM-based authentication as for VoLTE
  • Experience better indoor coverage

Operators:

  • Unlock revenue opportunities
  • Leverage existing SIM-based security and authentication as for VoLTE
  • Gain the opportunity to access IMS-based services via Wi-Fi access
  • Issue a single bill for the user for all IMS-based services across different access types
  • Gain a competitive advantage
  • Benefit from voice/video telephony services provided by IMS and the MMTEL application server as for VoLTE/ViLTE.

What is the GSMA doing to help with VoWi-Fi?

We are working with the mobile industry to help operators realise the benefits of and to effectively implement, all-IP VoWi-Fi as part of their core services.

Additional Resources

VoWiFi Documents

The first VoWiFi deployment occurred in the USA in 2014. VoWiFi enables an operator to leverage the existing SIM-based security and authentication as for VoLTE and to provide the same set of IMS-based services to the end-user via a Wi-Fi access network as for LTE. Some operators are deploying VoWi-Fi before VoLTE as a means of proving their IMS-based solution.

The GSMA has published the VoWiFi Service Description, which describes VoWiFi for Single Network, interconnect and roaming scenarios. The document also describes seamless handover of voice calls between Wi-Fi and LTE and vice versa. The GSMA PRD V2020.02 is available as a download from the GSMA Newsroom resources page.

GSMA Newsroom

Other Documents

A number of the GSMA’s Permanent Reference Documents (PRDs) regarding VoWi-Fi, are also available from the GSMA Newsroom, you may be interested in the following:

IR.51– IMS Profile for Voice, Video and SMS over Wi-Fi
Defines a profile that identifies a minimum mandatory set of features which are defined in 3GPP specifications that a wireless device (the User Equipment [UE]) and network are required to implement in order to guarantee interoperable, high-quality IMS-based telephony and conversational video services over Wi-Fi access.

IR.61 – Wi-Fi Roaming Guidelines
Describes the Wi-Fi Access to the Evolved 3GPP Packet Switched domain also known as the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) as defined in the 3GPP specifications TS 23.402 and TS 24.302. The document is based on 3GPP Release 11 and later. The document also covers policy control and charging and authentication.

IR.34 – Guidelines for IPX Provider networks (Previously Inter-Service Provider IP Backbone Guidelines)
The Internet Protocol (IP) Packet eXchange (IPX) Network is an inter-service Provider IP backbone which comprises the interconnected networks of IPX Providers and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) Roaming eXchange (GRX) Providers. The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines and technical information on how these networks are set up and interconnect and how service providers will connect to the IPX Provider networks.

IR.39 – IMS Profile for High Definition Video Conference (HDVC) Service
The IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) Profile for High Definition Video Conference (HDVC) service, documented in this Permanent Reference Document (PRD), defines a minimum mandatory set of features that a video communication client and the network are required to implement to guarantee an interoperable, high-quality IMS-based video communication service over fixed and mobile access.

IR.95 – SIP/SDP Profile for inter-IMS NNI
Describes a generic SIP/SDP profile for interconnection and roaming NNI between operators’ IMS networks for the purposes of exchanging traffic originating from and terminating to the respective operators’ customers. This document profiles SIP/SDP for the GSMA-defined, IMS-based services (i.e. VoLTE, ViLTE, VoWi-Fi, SMSoIP, and RCS services).

IR.64 – IMS Service Centralisation and Continuity Guidelines
The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has specified the solution for centralisation of services in the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and of IMS based service continuity in Release 8 onwards. The user shall receive services in a consistent manner when the user accesses IMS either via the Circuit Switched (CS) or the Packet Switched (PS) domain. Service continuity is supported between CS and PS domains.

IR.65 – IMS Roaming and Interworking Guidelines
The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) architecture has introduced a subsystem known as the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) as an addition to the Packet-Switched (PS) domain. IMS supports new, IP-based multimedia services as well as interoperability with traditional telephony services. IMS is not a service per se, but a framework for enabling advanced IP services and apps on top of a packet bearer.

IR.67 – DNS/ENUM Guidelines for Service Providers and GRX/IPX Providers
Inter-Service Provider IP communications are starting to evolve to support services other than GPRS Roaming. Many, if not all, of these services, rely upon DNS. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for the interworking and stability of such services that Service Providers have all the necessary information to hand to ease configuration of their DNS servers upon which such services rely.

NG.102 – IMS Profile for Converged IP Communications
Defines a profile that identifies a minimum mandatory set of common IMS functionalities (defined in 3GPP specifications and other GSMA PRDs) that a wireless device (the User Equipment [UE]) and network are required to support in order to guarantee interoperable, high-quality IMS-based and Mobile Operator provided Converged IP Communications Services (VoLTE, ViLTE, VoWi-Fi and RCS).

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VoWiFi News

VoWiFi Implementation Insight from China Unicom

The purpose of this document is to provide a product and technical insight into the implementation of VoWiFi from a practical perspective to complement the VoWiFi Service Design and Implementation Guide available under GSMA IC2 website (see reference [1]). The scope of the ...