Telecom equipment makers Ericsson and Qualcomm Incorporated recently performed a voice handover based on the 3GPP -standardized functionality Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC), demonstrating seamless voice services when users move out of LTE coverage, since the call will automatically be handed over to WCDMA or GSM access during the call.
Up until this point, the main use of LTE has been for mobile data traffic, however operators are starting to evolve their networks to support voice and SMS over LTE (based on VoLTE GSMA IR.92), and prepare for introduction of new globally interoperable multimedia services on LTE smartphones.
One particular challenge to operators is to ensure that users do not experience interruptions of ongoing voice calls when they move out of LTE coverage.
Handover of a voice call from LTE to WCDMA was successfully performed on December 23 using Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) network infrastructure and an LTE/3G multimode smartphone chipset from Qualcomm (San Diego, Calif., USA).
According to both telecom equipment makers, SRVCC enables operators to deploy voice over LTE, seamlessly handing over to existing GSM and WCDMA installed base as needed, to provide a voice service with global reach to their LTE smartphone users.
The first operators are expected to begin deploying SRVCC during 2012, followed by more global commercial launches in 2013, says both companies.