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12/15/2011

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Bang on.

Here's another "whammy".

VoLTE architectures essentially assume a VoIP service that is vertically integrated into the physical access network. That is, the service works only when connected to the specific network or a roaming partner thereof.

This puts them at a disadvantage to "over the top" VoIP services that work from any point of Internet connection. That's an increasingly significant disadvantage. That is, users want their VoIP service to work whether they're on mobile broadband, at home, on a hotel WiFi connection, on the office LAN, or on a coffee shop hotspot. At what point does a "phone number" that only works on a specific network cease to have appeal?

So - add to the cost of VoLTE solutions, their quality issues, and the decline of the perceived value of "voice" the fact that "network specific" callability is a turn off. In order to compete, the voice service needs to work from arbitrary points of Internet connection. In order to do that VoLTE services have to be able to work "over the top" (ironic). Something that VoLTE architectures don't tend to be able to do... and making the RoI even more questionable.

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