Telefónica Demonstrates Seamless 4G–WiFi Handover and Potential for Policy-Based Network Management


WEBWIRE – Wednesday, February 27, 2013

- Multi-access seamless customer experience at the heart of Telefónica’s smart connectivity strategy .
- Evolved Wi-Fi to become a strong complement to cellular technologies .
- Telefónica showcases most advanced voice over 4G tests ever conducted and new possibilities for policy-based network management .
- Partnerships with Ericsson, Qualcomm, LG, Samsung and Sony Mobile results customer experience with devices supporting seamless 4G-wifi handover and VoLTE

Barcelona,- - Telefónica is conducting industry-leading demonstrations of a full integration of Wi-Fi Access technology in a 4G network during this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The company also brings to its booth (Hall 3 – 3B 108) the chance for all visitors to experience the full benefits of pure voice over LTE, which offers approximately 40% improvement on voice quality and is able to make connections in 0.25 seconds or 20 times faster than a standard 3G call.

Telefónica is showcasing technology that could be available over the next year which enables smartphone and tablet users to move seamlessly between different wireless access technologies without losing coverage – leading the way to a wide range of next generation multimedia services.

While Wi-Fi is an excellent complement of a mobile network to efficiently increase network data capacity and indoor coverage in high density traffic areas, Telefónica believes that Wi-Fi’s real value will come when it is fully integrated with 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) based mobile technologies.

The evolved Wi-Fi technology to be used in the deployment of cellular networks has moved to carrier grade, meaning that it implements the latest advances and functionalities and offers a performance similar to LTE, plus it allows roaming between operators and countries.

Telefónica’s demo at the MWC showcases highly advanced network features enabling seamless handover between Wi-Fi and LTE and also implementing a set of network policies easing the discovery and selection of the network, regardless of the access technology and transparently to the customer. WiFi and LTE networks in seamless integration enabling communication uninterrupted service sessions during handovers across access technologies.

Additionally, Telefonica will demonstrate the full benefits of pure VoLTE voice services (LTE to LTE call) supported by the first VoLTE devices in Europe. Although these devices are already commercial they run on an improved chipset and improved software support for VoLTE which is not yet commercial. A key advantage of VoLTE is that it can be combined with several enhanced IP-based services such as High Definition Voice, presence, location, and Rich Communication Suite (RCS) additions like instant messaging, video share and enhanced phone books. Moreover, VoLTE enables prioritization over other data streams to deliver consistently high quality service levels.

These demos further build on Telefónica’s announcement earlier this month that it is the first network operator to demonstrate voice call handover from a 4G to a 3G mobile network seamlessly and without interruption in a multivendor environment. For call continuity, VoLTE uses a single radio solution in the customer’s device (SRVCC) – with constant size advantages over dual solutions – that seamlessly maintains voice calls as customers move from LTE to non LTE coverage areas.

Enrique Blanco, CTO of Telefónica, said: "There is much talk about the rising demand for smarter devices and faster mobile broadband data speeds, but we should not overlook the fact that voice will play a key role in the delivery of future multimedia services. To this end, we are demonstrating the most advanced voice over 4G tests ever conducted, and additionally LTE data, with a clear focus on capacity, quality and speed. Our demonstration is further evidence of Telefónica’s commitment to build a best in class ubiquitous smart network to provide the best customer service at any time regardless of the access technology”.

Johan Wibergh, Executive Vice President, Head of Business Unit Networks, Ericsson, said: “Working with one of the largest service providers in the world allows us to test our strength in complex environments with handovers and multi-vendor environments. Networks now need to be not only robust, they need to be more intelligent and deliver superior performance, as well as enable all the multimedia services that users want across several technologies. These breakthrough demonstrations will help LTE users enjoy the true benefits of the highest quality mobile communication available today”.

Serge Willenegger, Vice President of Product Management of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. said: “The integration of VoLTE/SRVCC/RCS capabilities in the chipset is enabling a new wave of commercial devices that will offer simultaneous voice, video and data capabilities over LTE. These modem optimized IMS services will enrich end user experience, while enabling sophisticated capabilities on the application processor that developers can use to create integrated and interactive multimedia applications on mobile networks”.

Samsung Spain, Celestino García, IM Division VicePresident, said: “VoLTE networks is one of the most efficient and innovative service by not only offering a best in class data experience, but also providing high quality voice service to end-users. Samsung devices are been designed to guarantee a Premium LTE experience, as well as ready to head this new industry’s challenge in Spain. Samsung will continue to collaborate with globally leading LTE operators to firmly prove our leadership in the global LTE equipment market, and to provide a cutting-edge VoLTE service to our Spanish consumers”.

“Through Telefonica’s VoLTE demonstration we aim to show how our Xperia smartphones could offer consumers even higher quality, crystal clear phone calling. VoLTE will take phone calls to a new level of convenience and voice quality”, says Takeshi Ito CTO at Sony Mobile. “It will create new innovative and rich call services, while talking such as file transfers or video sharing. The seamless handover and bearer selection with LTE and WiFi will be an eligible enabler for optimized network capacity and consumer experience”.



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