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Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network
Although the current LTE buzz is centered on data traffic, most GSM/UMTS MSPs are also planning to provide wireless broadband voice services as LTE is introduced to GSM/UMTS networks or shortly thereafter. How to provide voice over LTE is, however, not always clear and a topic that is being heavily debated in the wireless industry: is there one best option, or are certain options better suited to some MSPs than others? Three current options — CS fallback, VoLGA, and VoIMS — are evaluated based on how they work, the types of services they support, and network-implementation requirements. The implication of the options and option combinations for roaming are also considered. Recommendations are provided about which options are best suited as operators evolve to end-to-end LTE and all-IP networks.

Table of contents
1 1 3 3 5 8 15 15 16 17 18 19 19 19 20 21 22 22 1. Introduction 2. Changing market conditions and LTE 3. Options for providing voice over LTE 3.1 CS fallback 3.2 VoLGA 3.3 VoIMS 4. Comparison of options for voice over LTE 4.1 Network-implementation requirements 4.2 Performance 5. Voice over LTE and roaming 6. Recommendations 6.1 CS fallback 6.2 VoLGA 6.3 VoIMS 7. Conclusion 8. Abbreviations 9. Contacts 10. References

how to provide voice over LTE is currently being heavily debated in the wireless industry. The first commercial deployments and an increasing number of trials are expected in 2009. this paper examines the current options — circuit-switched (CS) fallback. Short Message Service (SMS). AT&T announced a year-over-year 38. lower latency. Even in the midst of a weak economy. According to projections by Ovum. voice is not far behind. as well as their impact on the GSM/UMTS network. such as Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) and mobile TV. Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD). operators will be able to make more informed decisions and pick the options that are best suited to their networks when the time comes to implement voice over LTE. flat IP architecture. UMTS or converged wireline/wireless operator? To help MSPs answer these questions. In addition. and larger bandwidth over a simple. a set of enhancements to Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS).7 billion United States dollars by 2014: an increase of 456 percent over 2008 (see Figure 1). or are certain options better suited to some MSPs than others? More specifically. 2. mobile-broadband data will generate revenues of 139. supplementary services. have made their LTE trial intentions public. and others. AT&T experienced 12 consecutive quarters of wireless data growth above 50 percent. is being developed to provide the necessary bandwidth and quality of service (QoS) for the delivery of data-intensive applications. the LTE network must be efficient and cost-effective for both voice and data. Why all this interest? LTE. Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper 1 . No matter how voice services are implemented.6 percent increase in wireless data revenue for Q1 2009 while Verizon Wireless claimed 56. FierceMobileContent reports that by the end of 2008. LTE offers mobile service providers (MSPs) an avenue to profitably deliver next-generation wireless broadband services with an improved user experience at a reduced cost per megabit.2 percent wireless data growth during the same period. However. NTT DOCOMO and Telefónica are already well underway with their LTE trials. LTE is being developed to seamlessly interoperate with all existing networks. Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM)/UMTS MSPs have started or are about to start implementing LTE networks. Changing market conditions and LTE What current market conditions are driving operators toward LTE? The answer is simple: the number of data subscribers and data usage per subscriber are exploding. We evaluate and present recommendations about each option based on: • How the option works • Types of services supported • Requirements for network implementation • Advantages and disadvantages With a better understanding of the options and their impact on GSM/UMTS networks. Voice over LTE via Generic Access (VoLGA). Although their first consideration is data. Customized Applications for Mobile network Enhanced Logic (CAMEL). Introduction Long Term Evolution (LTE) is fast approaching: Verizon Wireless and TeliaSonera recently announced LTE contract awards. what is the best choice for a GSM.1. and CS data — over LTE. and Voice over IP Multimedia Subsystem (VoIMS) — being proposed for the delivery of voice and other CS services — for example. LTE — the Evolved Packet System (EPS). such as China Mobile and Vodafone. which encompasses the Evolved UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network (E-UTRAN) and Evolved Packet Core (EPC) — promises to deliver higher throughput. Is there one “best” option for delivering voice over LTE.

not higher ARPU enterprise users (see Figure 2). cost-effective network for both voice and data services. Mobile-broadband data-revenue projections are fueling this explosion. all at a lower cost per megabit. download music and videos. Mobile-broadband user-growth and ARPU projections LTE is being heralded as the future technology to help MSPs successfully transform their networks to meet tomorrow’s communications demands. the demographic cohort with birth dates ranging from the mid 1970s to the early 1990s. With their high Internet content consumption. to differentiate services and remain competitive. All these devices are simplifying multimedia communications. video recorders. they are also changing the way enterprises communicate. members of this group more than double the average subscriber’s mobile data usage. as Millennials enter adulthood and the workforce. Millennials. With this new technology. iPods and media players. user growth will far outpace revenue growth. have also played a major role in the data explosion. However. Moreover. such as e-book readers. this growth is being driven by low average revenue per user (ARPU) consumers. 2 Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper . Figure 2. are redefining the way consumers interact in both social and business settings. enabling anytime/anywhere multimedia communications. Moreover. Millenials intuitively and rapidly adapt to new services and devices.Changes in the way we communicate Figure 1. LTE promises to be a more efficient. are not being integrated and are customized to deliver a high quality of experience for only one particular application. Others. Some wireless devices are being integrated with cameras. They text. the number of mobile broadband users will increase 1024 percent between 2008 and 2014. and use social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace to stay socially connected. play games. enabling it to flourish. with revenue growing at just 44 percent of the rate of user growth from 2008 to 2014. MSPs are worried about these changing market conditions. operators will have the high bandwidth and low latency necessary to offer increasingly complex data services. Rapid changes in wireless devices. According to Ovum.

a CS fallback-enabled device must register on both the LTE and GSM/UMTS networks. including prepaid and post-paid billing. Some GSM/UMTS operators are planning to initially deploy LTE to cover high traffic areas or data hot spots. and Group 3 Fax (G3 Fax). operators must ensure voice service continuity with minimal service disruptions as subscribers roam between the LTE and GSM/UMTS networks. Network implementation of CS fallback GSM/UMTS network A interface BSS IuCS Call server Circuit core MGW Services RNS SGs S6a LTE network S1-mme MME S11 S1u E-UTRAN SGW S5/S8 PDN GW HSS Evolved Packet Core (EPC) 3. no matter where the operator begins. Figure 3. LTE will gradually be phased in throughout the whole network. if not at launch then sometime shortly thereafter. most MSPs are also planning to provide voice services as LTE is introduced into the network. complementing High Speed Packet Access (HSPA)/Evolved High Speed Packet Access (HSPA+) and Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) coverage. Three options have been proposed for providing voice services as LTE is introduced into the network: • CS fallback • VoLGA • VoIMS 3. Others are planning to introduce LTE in rural areas first to supplement EDGE. For LTE to be successful during this phased deployment. Mobile devices. as shown in Figure 3.1 How CS fallback works Registration For this option to work. Options for providing voice over LTE Although the current buzz is centered on using LTE for data only. CAMEL services. are forced to fall back to the legacy network when subscribers want to use CS services.3. to insure that both networks are aware of its presence and location. However. This option offers complete services and feature transparency by enabling MSPs to leverage their existing GSM/UMTS network for the delivery of CS services. normally camped on the LTE network for data services. the user equipment (UE) does not have to perform two registration procedures because the Mobile Management Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper 3 . However. such as voice.1 CS fallback CS fallback supports voice services for LTE by reusing the GSM/UMTS network.1.

efficiently performs a combined registration when the user terminal attaches to the LTE network. the UE sends a service request with the CS fallback indicator to the MME. the key control node for the LTE network. If the fallback network is UMTS. a location update may be necessary if the LAI of the new cell differs from the one stored in the UE. Otherwise. Fallback for call termination works in a similar fashion as for call origination. the MSC sends a page request over the SGs interface to the MME. the data session is suspended for the duration of the voice call. required for the location update. a PSHO may only occur if the GSM network as well as the user device supports Dual Transfer Mode (DTM). the eNode B triggers a cell change to the GSM/UMTS network by sending a Radio Resource Control (RRC) message to the UE.2 Network implementation of CS fallback Terminals used for CS fallback must be able access the LTE as well as the GSM/UMTS networks. the Tracking Area ID (TAI). To determine the target GSM/UMTS cell to which the UE should be moved. depending on the characteristics of the network. The mobile then moves to the new cell and performs a radio resource connection using the legacy procedures. is calculated from its LTE equivalent. instructing it to perform a CS fallback. the E-UTRAN will perform a packet-switched (PS) handover (PSHO). the mobile devices need to support the combined EPS/International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) attach. Call origination and termination For call origination. and location-update procedures as well as the CS fallback and SMS procedures. a location update must be performed before the mobile device responds to the page to establish the call connection. However. The MSC simply forwards the SMS to the MME using the SGs interface. and then directs the UE to retune to the new cell.008 client used for the GSM/UMTS network. The MME then requests the Evolved Node B (eNode B) to redirect the mobile device to the GSM/UMTS network. the eNode B may either solicit measurements from the mobile terminal or use its existing information about preconfigured cells.1. 3. enabling the data session to continue during the duration of the voice call. When the target cell has been identified. The eNode Bs to be paged are determined from the MME list of TAIs for the mobile device or from the location information sent in the MSC paging message. Specifically. SMS The mobile device does not have to fall back to the CS network when sending or receiving SMS messages. which enables voice and data calls to be handled simultaneously. in the same manner as with call origination. the MME instructs the eNode B to move the mobile device to the GSM/UMTS network by sending an initial UE context setup message. the UE sends it to the MME. The eNode B determines which cell the mobile device should be moved to. enhancements must be added for CS fallback. When the mobile device responds with a service request that has a CS-fallback indicator. The Location Area ID (LAI). In addition. which then forwards it to the MSC over the SGs interface. the MME pages the mobile device in the LTE network with the core-network domain indicator set to CS in the paging message. 4 Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper . At the completion of the call or CS service. If the location area of the new cell differs from the one stored in the mobile device. When the subscriber originates a text message. detach. the mobile device is moved back to the E-UTRAN. if the fallback network is GSM. indicating that the CS network originated the page. If the user has an active LTE data session when a voice call is initiated.Entity (MME). Although no changes are required to the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) TS 24. before the call originates. the data session may be handed over to the GSM/UMTS network or dropped. where LTE service is resumed if it was suspended during the CS session. Registration on the GSM/UMTS network is triggered by an MME-initiated location update over the SGs interface to the mobile switching center (MSC). When a call comes in for the mobile device. In return.

1. also known as VoLGA Access Network Controller (VANC).879 option 2. this delay may be increased if the mobile device must conduct measurements to find a suitable GSM/UMTS cell to use and must then perform a location update before being able to originate or answer a call. The E-UTRAN must also be enhanced to forward page requests and SMS to the UE. ensuring a fast and quality rollout of voice services for LTE. CS fallback requires some network-engineering considerations. CS fallback changes to the MSC are not complicated because the SGs interface was purposely based on the Gs interface that is currently used between the MSC and Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN). CS fallback is quite signaling-intensive and fallback may take a while to complete. 3. GSM/UMTS components such as MSCs. Circuit-Switched Non-Access Signaling (CS NAS) from Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper 5 .272. Required enhancements include support for: • SGs interface to the MME • Simultaneous paging on the A. based on 3GPP TS 23. and prepaid/post-paid billing systems are all reused. The MME must not only support the SGs interface to the MSC. is sufficient to accommodate the increased traffic load from the LTE network. operations support systems (OSSs). and MSC. with further development by the VoLGA Forum. the MSCs in the LTE coverage area must be upgraded to support CS fallback. In addition. to interwork the LTE and GSM/UMTS networks. The E-UTRAN must be upgraded to redirect the user device to the most suitable GSM/UMTS cell when CS services are required. and paging. 3. Another benefit of CS fallback is that it provides complete service and feature transparency with the GSM/UMTS network because the LTE subscriber is redirected to the GSM/UMTS network for all CS services. Iu. LTE tracking areas must be configured geographically similar to the location areas used in the GSM/UMTS network because the MME uses the TAI to derive the LAI used by the GSM/UMTS network. uses a new dedicated Interworking Function (IWF). location update. while CS fallback supports concurrent voice and data on hand-downs to UMTS and GSM with DTM. and SGs interfaces • Sending and receiving SMS over the SGs interface The operator must ensure that the capacity of the MSCs and radio access networks (RANS).3 Pros and cons of CS fallback CS fallback extends the life of the GSM/UMTS network by enabling it to provide voice services for the LTE network. In addition. the VANC provides an LTE overlay access pipe from the terminal to the MSC. E-UTRAN. CS service platforms. the MME must be enhanced to support the CS-fallback SMS procedures as defined by 3GPP TS 23. Another disadvantage of CS fallback is that. LTE coverage areas must be engineered to overlap with that of the GSM/UMTS network to allow LTE subscribers to easily retune or hand over to the GSM/UMTS network for voice services. but also certain MSC procedures such as IMSI attach/detach. In addition. This call setup delay may be enough to be noticed by some LTE subscribers. including the MSCs and all existing OSSs. overlaying LTE coverage.The network implementation of CS fallback requires enhancements to the MME. Inserted between the EPS and MSC.2 VoLGA VoLGA provides voice services for LTE access by leveraging the operator’s existing GSM/UMTS voice core. This option. with estimates placing it at about 500 ms. Conversely. and required upgrades to existing network nodes are relatively minor compared to the other options. Handsets reuse the GSM/UMTS client with only a few added enhancements for CS fallback. In the legacy network. No new network elements need to be added. CS fallback does not support concurrent voice and data when handing down to a GSM network without DTM: the PS session is simply suspended.

Call origination and termination Before a mobile device can use any CS service.1 How VoLGA works Registration A subscriber must first be registered on the LTE network and for VoLGA service before he/she can place or receive voice calls on a VoLGA-enabled terminal. it must first establish a dedicated Generic Access . which then forwards the request to the MSC using the A or Iu interface.2.the terminal. where it is interworked to the A or Iu interface for transport to the GSM/UMTS MSC (see Figure 4). used for second-generation/third generation (2G/3G) call set-up. The user terminal then establishes a secure tunnel to the security gateway followed by a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connection to the VANC before attempting to register. which is then used for the exchange of GA-CSR messages between the two. If it has 6 Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper . Network implementation of VoLGA GSM/UMTS network A interface BSS Call server IuCS Circuit core Services RNS MGW IuCS or A interface D’ HSS S6a Sv LTE network S1-mme MME S11 Wm AAA server VANC with SeGW SGi S5/S8 Z1 Evolved Packet Core (EPC) S1u E-UTRAN Z1 SGW PDN GW 3. Figure 4.Circuit-Switched Resources (GA-CSR) signaling connection to the VANC. the UE requests service by sending an encapsulated CM service request message to the VANC. is transported transparently over the LTE data bearer to the VANC. used for mobile-to-MSC communications. such as originating or terminating a voice call. After obtaining connectivity to the assigned VoLGA PDN. along with the CS voice stream. Upon call origination. the user terminal performs the VANC discovery procedure to obtain the IP addresses of the VoLGA security gateway and the VANC that it will use for VoLGA registration. A successful registration results in VANC authorization of the VoLGA signaling flow for the mobile device and maintenance of the established secure tunnel and TCP connection for the duration of the registration. over the EPS bearer. These messages transport encapsulated CS NAS signaling.

2 Network implementation of VoLGA Terminals used for VoLGA must be able to access the LTE as well as the GSM/UMTS networks. the MSC authenticates the mobile device and authorizes it to use the network. which it then forwards to the calling party. However. The MSC then notifies the mobile device that the called party is ringing and. LTE-to-GSM/UMTS handovers VoLGA supports handovers from LTE to the GSM/UMTS network. over an IP connection. The MME. which then commands the UE. it sends a handover-required message to the MME. it may be handed over to the GSM/ UMTS network or suspended. The VANC assigns resources to the call and sends the handset the necessary information it needs to establish the uplink Real Time Protocol (RTP) path. if the handover is to GSM. in turn. to hand over to the GSM EDGE Radio Access Network (GERAN)/UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network (UTRAN). enabling the data session to continue along with the CS voice call. establishes a two-way audio connection to complete the call origination. When preparations are complete. before initiating call set-up. but specific support must be added for VoLGA and SRVCC. SMS SMS works in a similar manner as call originations and terminations. A set-up message is then sent from the mobile device to the MSC via the VANC. VoLGA-enabled terminals must support VANC discovery and registration as well as handovers from the LTE network to GSM/UMTS. initiating the process. instructing the MSC to originate a call. The VANC notifies the MME. the mobile device rings the subscriber and sends back an alerting message to the MSC via the VANC. When the E-UTRAN detects the need for a handover based on measurement reports received from the mobile device. VoLGA-enabled terminals must also be able to determine if the serving network supports VoLGA services and to negotiate use of the A or Iu interface for MSC communications. As with CS fallback. Once the path is established. 3. the MSC informs the VANC that it is ready for handover. The VANC is instructed to set up the RTP streams between itself and the mobile device just as with call origination. Otherwise. Upon answer. the VANC may also deregister the UE and release the VoLGA signaling bearer. via the E-UTRAN. the mobile device sends a connect message via the VANC to the MSC. the data session is suspended. In addition. SMS messages are also encapsulated in the GA-CSR messages for transport over the EPS bearer.not already done so.008 client. the VANC completes the call bearer set-up by establishing the downlink connection. If a data session is concurrently active with the voice call. With completion of the handover. The mobile device establishes a dedicated GA-CSR connection and sends back a page response. reusing the SRVCC mechanism as specified for the EPS. At this point. As with call set-up. informs the VANC that a handover is required by sending it a Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) PS-to-CS request message over the Sv interface. When the voice bearer has been established. the MSC pages the mobile device via the VANC. The UE first establishes a dedicated GA-CSR signaling connection to the VANC. depending on the characteristics of the network. the MSC instructs the VANC to establish the call-bearer connection. When a call arrives at the MSC for a VoLGA subscriber. the VANC clears all resources used by the call and instructs the MME to do the same by sending an SRVCC PS-to-CS complete notification. These devices must be able to transport CS NAS signaling as well as the CS voice stream over the EPS bearers — that is. The VANC converts this request into a CS handover request and sends it to the MSC. before establishing a two-way audio connection to complete the call termination. a PS handover only occurs if the GSM network as well as the terminal supports DTM. instructing it to prepare for handover. upon answer. over which it requests SMS service or responds to an SMS page sent by the MSC via the VANC. The MSC then notifies the calling party by sending it an alerting message. the MSC authenticates the mobile device and authorizes it to use the network. If the handover is to UMTS. Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper 7 . no changes are required to the 3GPP TS 24. Upon receipt of the set-up message. the E-UTRAN also performs a PS handover.2. If it has not already done so.

VoLGA requires no additional functionality on the Serving Gateway (SGW) and PDN gateway (PDN GW). VoLGA also supports simultaneous LTE data and CS voice as well as faster call set-up times because the user device stays within the LTE domain. VoLGA support requires no changes to the GSM/UMTS MSC. which are viewed as a differentiator for LTE. operators deploying multivendor-based VoLGA solutions may experience more interoperability issues than if they deploy 3GPP-compliant solutions. To enable handovers from the LTE network to GSM/UMTS. The MME must also support the Sv interface to the VANC. strategic solution for LTE. However. Like CS fallback. IMS provides legacy voice services. calling line identification. VoLGA does not support advanced blended IMS services. If VoLGA fails to be accepted at large by the wireless industry. and supplementary services. VoLGA delivers the same stable and proven CS services used in the GSM/UMTS network to LTE with a seamless user experience. which is performed after the user device has established a secure tunnel to the security gateway The impact of VoLGA on the EPS network is minimal. authorization and accounting (AAA) server – Used for user-equipment authentication. subscriber management and customer care. Instead. VoLGA also offers a somewhat complicated architecture and signaling scheme because it introduces three new network elements: the VANC. interworking the VoLGAenabled terminals that access the EPS network via LTE to the CS services provided by the GSM/UMTS network • Security gateway – May or may not be integrated with the VANC. A major disadvantage of VoLGA is that standards have not been accepted by 3GPP. Operators do not have to introduce IMS to the network or make the resulting changes to backoffice support systems. However. VoLGA offloads voice traffic from the GSM/UMTS access network to LTE. whereas CS fallback does not. remote-access tunnel from the user device and provides authentication. 3.2.228 for LTE voice-services delivery. In addition. such as basic voice origination/termination.3 VoIMS Viewed as the long-term. encryption and integrity protection for the signaling traffic • Authentication.VoLGA network implementation requires three new network elements: • VANC – At the heart of the VoLGA network implementation. 8 Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper . terminates a secure.216. Finally. 3. there is no guarantee that it will eventually be adapted by 3GPP. VoLGA also provides excellent LTE-to-GSM/UMTS handovers because it is CS-based. Although the standards are progressing in the VoLGA Forum. VoLGA service delivery is transparent to the CS network. VoLGA-enabled terminals and network equipment may be slow coming to market. all VoLGA-enabled MSCs must be resized to accommodate the increased traffic load from the additional A or Iu interfaces. The required terminal modifications are also more extensive than those required for CS fallback. VoLGA offers complete CS service transparency between the LTE and GSM/UMTS networks. as well as value-added. the E-UTRAN and the MME both must support SRVCC according to 3GPP TS 23. security gateway. and AAA server. Because the VANC is perceived as a base station controller (BSC)/radio network controller (RNC) by the GSM/UMTS MSC. such as billing.3 Pros and cons of VoLGA A major benefit of VoLGA is that it enables MSPs to quickly start offering voice services with LTE access by leveraging operators’ existing GSM/UMTS voice core assets with no required upgrades. VoIMS uses IMS call control as defined by 3GPP TS 23.

which ensures service continuity and feature transparency for subscribers roaming between a LTE network without complete national coverage and a nationwide GSM/UMTS network. assuring coverage for LTE subscribers whether at home or roaming. Figure 5 shows the basic network implementation. Moreover. as shown in Figure 6 and avoiding the use of ICS and SRVCC. data and multimedia services to be carried simultaneously over the same PS-domain IP connection. allowing voice. VoIMS is expected to be widely deployed. Figure 6. Network implementation of VoIMS MGCF Mg MGW Cx LTE network S1-mme Evolved Packet Core (EPC) E-UTRAN S1u MME S11 S5/S8 SGW PDN GW S6a HSS Gx PCRF Sh CSCF ISC Rx SGi IMS core TAS GSM/UMTS CS service continuity is implemented with the aid of IMS Centralized Services (ICS) and SRVCC. Figure 5. HSPA+ enables the implementation of VoIMS with UMTS PS access. VoIMS for UMTS PS voice-services delivery UMTS network IuPS SGSN Packet core GGSN Gi interface MGCF RNS Indirect tunnel S3 Direct tunnel S12 (if direct tunnel) MGW Cx Mg ISC Sh CSCF TAS LTE network S1-mme Evolved Packet Core (EPC) E-UTRAN S1u MME S11 S6a S4 HSS Gx S5/S8 SGW PDN GW PCRF Rx SGi IMS core Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper 9 . Optionally.advanced multimedia services such as video sharing by supporting media additions and subtractions at any time during the call. VoIMS implemented with both LTE and HSPA+ enables end-to-end IP concurrent voice and data multimedia services as well as seamless mobility between the LTE and UMTS networks with the use of PS handovers and handbacks.

the MSC acts as a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) user agent for the UE.In the case of GSM/UMTS CS-service continuity. VoIMS implementation using Gm reference point UMTS network IuPS SGSN Packet core CSCF Gm reference point between UE and CSCF IuCS RNS CS bearer path between UE and IMS MGW Call server ISUP Circuit core Sv Cx Sh HSS Rx Gx S5/S8 SGW PDN GW PCRF SGi Services Gi interface MGCF Mg MGW ISC CSCF SCC and SRVCC AS ISC Sh TAS IMS core LTE network S1-mme Evolved Packet Core (EPC) E-UTRAN S1u MME S11 S6a Otherwise. by transparently connecting the GSM/UMTS access network to IMS call control via CS bearers. as shown in Figure 7. ICS SIP signaling is transported over the USSD control stream as per the I1 reference point. SRVCC provides network-controlled handovers for efficient call continuity. carried over the existing transport capabilities of the GSM/UMTS network. There are two ways of implementing ICS: MSC or UE-based. UE-based ICS implements IMS call control for GSM/UMTS access with SIP signaling between the UE and the IMS core. which is used for MSC-to-IMS communications. With MSC-based ICS. consistent voice services whether they are on the LTE or GSM/UMTS network. This version of ICS will be standardized in 3GPP IMS Release 9. For networks that support simultaneous PS and CS services. the IP connection is provided by the legacy packet core as per the Gm reference point. The MSC manages CS-bearer establishment for the transport of the voice stream. Figure 7. interworking the CS signaling used for MSC-to-UE communications to SIP. 10 Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper . the ICS function is supported directly by the UE using a dedicated client in the mobile device itself. ICS ensures that VoIMS users experience the same. as shown in Figure 8. With UE-based ICS. eliminating the need for UEs to simultaneously attach to two different access networks.

The ICS indicator notifies both the Serving . always register on the IMS network and receive all data and voice services from IMS. Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper 11 .3. In contrast. Because coverage is not limited to only ICS-enabled MSCs. For ICS and SRVCC-enabled UEs. this paper only describes a UE-based ICS model and the Gm-interface implementation method. For these reasons. service can be spread across a wider geographical footprint. Session/call origination and termination When a mobile device originates or terminates a voice session on the IMS network using LTE or UMTS PS access. For voice calls involving a VoIMS/ICS-enabled UE. as described in 3GPP TS 23. VoIMS implementation using I1 over USSD GSM/UMTS network I1/USSD between UE and CSCF IuCS RAN CS bearer path between UE and IMS MGW Call server Circuit core ISUP HLR MGCF Sv Sh Cx HSS Rx Gx S5/S8 SGW PDN GW PCRF SGi CSCF MGW Mg LTE network S1-mme Evolved Packet Core (EPC) E-UTRAN S1u MME S11 S6a SCC and SRVCC AS IMS ISC ISC core Sh TAS UE-based ICS is considered more deployable than its MSC-based counterpart. In addition. only the handsets must be upgraded in a UE-based network. ICS and SRVCC indicators are also included in the registration message. the session is set up according the standard originating or terminating IMS procedure. whether using the LTE or UMTS PS access networks. while the SRVCC indicator informs the eNode B and MME that the UE is capable of performing SRVCC handovers.228. the S-CSCF also inserts the SCC AS into the IMS session path to provide ICS.Call Session Control Function (S-CSCF) and the Service Centralization and Continuity Application Server (SCC AS) that the UE possesses ICS capabilities. The MSC-based method requires a significant investment by MSPs for ICS upgrades to all MSCs in their network.1 How VoIMS works Registration VoIMS-enabled UEs. and because the USSD method will not be standardized until 3GPP IMS Release 9. all MSCs in their roaming partners’ network must also be upgraded. This is also the case for VoIMS/ICS/ SRVCC-enabled UEs using the LTE or GSM/UMTS CS access networks. 3. to support roaming.Figure 8. and UE-based ICS supports ICS services even when the subscriber is roaming.

The IMS terminating session is then initiated toward the UE’s selected contact address. The SCC AS combines the SIP signaling received over the Gm interface with a description of the bearer established via the CS network to form the CS-access leg of the session. the ICS-enabled UE first sets up a service-control signaling path to the SCC AS via the legacy packet core and the Gm interface and then a CS bearer-control signaling path to the MSC. Because both the voice and non-voice sessions are over PS. the SCC AS combines SIP signaling with the description of the CS bearer to establish the CS leg of the session termination. One of two methods may be used to set up the path: • Direct tunnel from the SGW to the RNC via an S12 interface • Indirect tunnel from the SGW to the SGSN to the RNC. Upon receipt of handover notification. the E-UTRAN requests the MME to initiate a handover to the target cell. SRVCC handovers are triggered by the E-UTRAN based on the measurement reports it receives from SRVCC-enabled UEs. The eNode B then instructs the UE to hand over to the target cell in the UMTS network. Standard IMS servicecontinuity procedures are executed in the IMS domain according to 3GPP TS 23. the SCC AS then establishes the remote IMS leg of the session and presents it to the CSCF for standard IMS handling. SGSN and SGW. SRVCC-based handovers SRVCC enables calls to be seamlessly handed over from the LTE to the GSM/UMTS access network. the ICS-enabled UE originates a CS call to the SCC AS using its associated directory number. the CSCF switches the VoIP call to the CS access leg that has been established for the handover. When a handover is required. When complete. as shown in Figure 6 After selecting/reserving the path and the radio access bearer (RAB) in the UMTS PS network. Using SIP signaling on behalf of the UE. Using SIP signaling on behalf of the UE. while session/call control remains in IMS. The MSC then informs the MME that it is ready for the handover to proceed.For ICS-based session origination in the GSM/UMTS CS network. which then notifies the MME that it is also ready for the handover. In the same manner as with session origination.237. the RNC sends a completion message to the SGSN. Upon successful completion of the handover. For session termination to an ICS-enabled UE in the GSM/UMTS network. When the resources have been reserved. the MME commands the handover. Handovers LTE to UMTS PS handovers LTE to UMTS PS handovers provide excellent handovers between the two networks. the SCC AS selects a contact address from the pool of registered addresses it contains for the UE. Upon receiving the invite message. After the RNS has coordinated the CS and PS relocation request and assigned the required resources. with voice and data calls being simultaneously handed over. If the UE has simultaneous PS and CS sessions. The handover is initiated by the eNode B when it sends a request to the MME to establish resources in the target RNC. Because a voice call is kept as Voice over IP (VoIP) under IMS control. the MSC instructs the target Radio Network Subsystem (RNS) to prepare for the handover by allocating the necessary resources. which in turn sends it to the MME. it notifies the SGSN. the MSC initiates the IMS session transfer to the CS domain. The MME then separates out the voice bearer from the non-voice bearers and starts the handover procedure with both the MSC and SGSN. the SCC AS then establishes the IMS leg of the session and presents it to the CSCF for standard IMS handling. The MME only needs to coordinate and perform a PS handover. 12 Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper .292 and TS 23. the call can be quickly and seamlessly handed over without the need to use SRVCC. followed by the access network to be used for the session delivery. using standard CS legacy-network procedures. the SGSN also requests the RNS to allocate resources. with the indicator set to “CS bearer”. there is no separate CS session to hand over.

3. The SGSN must also be upgraded to 3GPP Release 8 to support the S4 interface to the SGW.The MME synchronizes the CS and PS relocations and instructs the E-UTRAN to hand over. the data session is suspended. it is also handed over to the GSM/UMTS network. but only if the legacy network supports it. but must also support Robust Header Compression (ROHC) and a radio allocation process that offers semi-persistent scheduling. In addition. Both the MSC and SGSN then notify the MME that the handover has been successfully completed. the IP-SM-GW may first attempt SMS delivery on the LTE/IMS network. which in turn delivers it to the UE. along with all necessary changes to the back-office systems. For SRVCC. As already stated. if the handover is to GSM. a PS handover may only occur if the GSM network and the UE support DTM. followed by the packet core. the RNS informs the MSC and SGSN that the handover is complete. The UTRAN not only requires an upgrade to 3GPP Release 8. an IP-SM-GW is required for the support of SMS. the UE receives its SMS on the IMS. For example. if a PS session is concurrently active with the voice session. the terminal must be able to indicate to the EPS that SRVCC is to be used for handovers to the GSM/UMTS network. The IP-SM-GW attempts SMS delivery in the order set by the operator policy and/or user preferences.3. and finally by the circuit core. If the handover is to UMTS. VoIMS terminals must also support the IMS mobile client. the terminals must also support the ICS and SRVCC clients. as well as support for selecting the access domain for session originations and terminations. If the UE is roaming in the GSM/UMTS network. The UTRAN must also support the S12 interface between the RNC and SGW used for the direct tunneling method. Telephony Application Server (TAS). An upgrade may also be necessary to the Home Subscriber Server (HSS) to support the presence of the new IP-SM-GW in the network. it forwards it to the CSCF. However. This gateway is required for SMS message delivery between the SMS Center and any IP-based UE. the CSCF uses the Gm interface for message delivery. and other components — if not already present in the network. VoIMS with LTE and UMTS PS access Implementation of VoIMS with both LTE and UMTS PS access requires upgrades to the UTRANs in the GSM/UMTS network and may also require an upgrade to the SGSNs if the indirect tunneling method is used. The UE then hands over to the RNS when instructed to do so by the E-UTRAN. signaling to the MSC to connect the call. Because the IP-SM-GW may deliver SMS messages using the IMS. as defined by 3GPP TS 23. This interface is used for the indirect tunneling method. ICS enhancements include support for establishing the service-control signaling path used for SCC AS communications and the bearer-control path used to set up the CS bearer through the CS domain. UMTS or GSM network.2 Network implementation of VoIMS VoIMS with LTE access only VoIMS network implementation requires the deployment of the IMS core — CSCF. Upon detecting that the handover has occurred. the E-UTRAN performs a PS handover. When the IP-SM-GW receives a message from the SMS Center.204 Release 7. SMS SMS delivery to a UE in the LTE/IMS network requires the use of the IP Short Message Gateway (IP-SM-GW). Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper 13 . PS or CS domains. VoIMS with ICS and SRVCC For VoIMS implemented with ICS and SRVCC. enabling the data session to continue along with the CS voice call. Otherwise.

voice mail. chat. SRVCC also requires upgrades to the E-UTRAN. the MSC must also be able to automatically register the UE with the HLR. delivering the full operational cost savings of using a flat. Moreover.3 Pros and cons of VoIMS Globally accepted as the end-goal solution for the support of voice services over LTE.3. the SCC and SRVCC ASs are required as well as SRVCC upgrades to the E-UTRAN and MME. On the GSM/UMTS network. 14 Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper . because this implementation supports LTE-to-UMTS handovers and handbacks. MME and HSS in the LTE network. the implementation of ICS and SRVCC requires the deployment of an MGCF and upgrades to all MSCs bordering the LTE/IMS networks for support of the Sv interface. The E-UTRAN and HSS require relatively minor upgrades to support the SRVCC parameters. With VoIMS implemented with ICS and SRVCC. An HLR upgrade may also be necessary to support the IP-SM-GW. The HLR may also need upgrading to support the new IP-SM-GW in the network. VoIMS implementation with ICS and SRVCC requires the addition of two IMS application servers: SCC AS and SRVCC AS. dialing plan. service providers have the potential to offer converged fixed and mobile services on their wireline and wireless networks using VoIMS. LTE subscribers may experience a possible break in the voice stream when a session/call is handed down to the GSM/UMTS network. In addition. VoIMS requires a sizable investment in the LTE network because the MSP needs to deploy the IMS core — CSCF.On the IMS network. TAS. PSHOs between the LTE and UMTS networks will likely be smoother than those provided by SRVCC. which includes applications such as image and video sharing. VoIMS implemented with LTE and UMTS PS access provides excellent concurrent voice and data handovers because both voice and data are handled over a single PS domain. the MSC must be upgraded with the Sv interface and must support coordination of the SRVCC relocation and session transfer procedures. To support SRVCC handovers. For VoIMS GSM support. A good example is the GSM Association (GSMA) Rich Communication Suite (RCS). VoIMS completely utilizes the LTE/IMS network. Upon successful relocation. set of subscriber services. UMTS is well-suited for handling small coverage holes in the LTE network. a Media Gateway Control Function (MGCF) that can optionally be integrated with the MSC is required for the establishment of IMS interconnections. VoIMS implemented with ICS and SRVCC enables operators to introduce advanced blended services that are transparent to the access network. SRVCC performance can likely be optimized over time. If VoIMS is also being deployed with ICS and SRVCC. and so on. and network address book. The HSS may also require an upgrade for IP-SM-GW support. the SCC AS along with the MSC and Home Location Register (HLR) must support USSD. However. In addition. These may be separate servers or combined into one server. and coordinate the CS and PS handovers when both are performed together. advanced voice and data blended services. However. Because SRVCC signaling is complicated. 3. The MME requires more extensive work because it must separate voice from non-voice PS bearers. and other components — as well as the IP-SM-GW. all-IP network. VoIMS offers conversational services and enables MSPs to introduce new revenuegenerating. the subscriber experiences the same voice services on the LTE or GSM/UMTS network: he/she has a single directory number. initiate the SRVCC handover procedure to the target MSC over the Sv interface. In legacy networks. If an MSP has also implemented VoIMS with UMTS PS. presence.

If this standard fails to be accepted at large by the wireless industry. Comparison of options for voice over LTE To best answer how these options compare to each other. In addition. With CS fallback. security gateway. Another factor to consider is that the VoLGA standard is only being advanced by the VoLGA Forum because it is currently blocked in 3GPP.4. its coverage area must be engineered to overlap with that of the GSM/ UMTS network. In addition. Changes required to UE to support VoLGA are also likely larger than those required for CS fallback. Table 1. making this option relatively easy to implement. an Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper 15 . Voice over LTE options: network-implementation comparison REQUIREMENT CS FALLBACK VoLGA VoIMS LTE VoIMS VoIMS UMTS PS VoIMS GSM/UMTS CS (ICS AND SRVCC) New network equipment None • VANC • Security gateway • AAA server None • IMS core • IP-SM-GW • IMS core • IP-SM-GW • • • • IMS core IP-SM-GW SCC and SRVCC AS MGCF Legacy network upgrades All MSCs overlaying LTE coverage • E-UTRAN • MME Yes None • UTRAN • SGSN for indirect tunneling method • HSS • Only MSCs at LTE edge • HLR • E-UTRAN • MME • HSS Yes EPS and/or IMS upgrades • E-UTRAN • MME No • Standards advanced by VoLGA Forum Likely substantial • VoLGA support • SRVCC support None • HSS 3GPP compliance for IOT ease Yes Yes Terminal changes Likely small • CS-fallback support Likely small • IMS client Likely small • IMS client Likely substantial • IMS client • ICS support • SRVCC support None LTE and GSM/UMTS coverage engineering considerations • Requires LTE and GSM/UMTS coverage overlap • Similar configuration for tracking and location areas None None IOT – interoperability testing 4. VoLGA requires the deployment of new network nodes: the VANC. when the LTE network is deployed. and AAA server. VoLGA-enabled terminals and network equipment may be slow to market. no new network nodes are required: just an upgrade to all MSCs serving the LTE network area as well as upgrades to the E-UTRAN and MME. requiring a comparatively low level of investment. each option must be analyzed according to: • Network-implementation requirements • Performance 4. Although there are no changes to the legacy voice core.1. Terminal changes for CS fallback are also minor. Upgrades are required on both the E-UTRAN and MME.2 VoLGA Implementation of VoLGA is more complicated than CS fallback and likely requires a larger investment.1 Network-implementation requirements Table 1 provides a summary of the requirements for network implementation of the voice over LTE options.1 CS fallback The network implementation of CS fallback is relatively simple. 4.1.

on the other hand. In addition. An upgrade to the UTRAN is required if VoIMS is to also be deployed with UMTS PS access. Users are handed down to the legacy network for all call originations and terminations. but user remains on the LTE network Some delay N/A GSM/UMTS LTE GSM/UMTS. the SGSN requires an upgrade to 3GPP Release 8. SMS. but UMTS PS access 4.operator deploying a multivendor-based VoLGA solution may experience more interoperability issues than if deploying a 3GPP-compliant solution. On the legacy network. Table 2. uses the LTE network whenever it is available so that no fallback is required.1. In addition. but not IMS No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial: uses IMS. CS fallback is simple but does not benefit from the operational efficiencies of an LTE network. if an MGCF is not already present. In addition. it must be deployed and upgrades made to all MSCs at the edge of the LTE network to support SRVCC. If VoIMS is being implemented with ICS and SRVCC. reusing the GSM/UMTS voice core and access. not an interim solution like CS fallback or VoLGA. 4.3 VoIMS The implementation of VoIMS requires a larger investment and network changes than the other options: the IMS core. if indirect tunneling is to be used. Voice over LTE options: performance comparison PERFORMANCE FACTOR CS FALLBACK VoLGA VoIMS LTE VoIMS VoIMS UMTS PS VoIMS GSM/UMTS CS (ICS AND SRVCC) Network providing voice services Network providing voice radio coverage Network providing SMS GSM/UMTS GSM/UMTS GSM/UMTS. 4. CS fallback does not support advanced blended services or concurrent voice and data services for GSM networks without DTM. if not already present in the operator’s network — such as for UMTS GSMA RCS or wireline voice services — needs to be deployed along with all necessary changes to the back-office systems. 16 Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper .2. new SCC and SRVCC AS network nodes must also be deployed along with upgrades to both the E-UTRAN and MME. 3GPP-based solution to temporarily provide voices services over LTE. but user remains on the LTE network Excellent Excellent – CS based IMS LTE LTE/IMS network IMS UMTS LTE/IMS network IMS GSM/UMTS LTE/IMS network Quality of voice call set-up Quality of LTE-to-GSM/UMTS voice handovers Support for in-call handbacks Support for concurrent voice and data Support for advanced services Operational benefit of flat all-IP network Excellent N/A Excellent Excellent. but GSM/UMTS access No • No for GSM • Yes for UMTS No No: LTE access and IMS not used No Yes No Partial: uses LTE access. an investment in it is largely future-safe and will serve the operator well for many years to come. Because VoIMS is the end goal for LTE. Users may notice the additional delay associated with voice call set-up. The HLR may also require an upgrade to support the addition of the new IP-SM-GW in the network. PS-based Excellent Possible break in voice stream with SRVCC handover Yes: 3GPP Release 10 Yes Yes Partial: uses IMS.1 CS fallback CS fallback is a relatively simple. an IP-SM-GW is required for SMS support.2 Performance Table 2 provides a summary of performance factors for the voice over LTE options.

While more complex than the other two options. VoIMS provides feature transparency and service continuity between LTE and GSM/UMTS CS networks. A UE may support one or more options for providing voice services over LTE. but also delivers the full operational cost savings of using a flat. However.4. the visited LTE network must also support VoIMS for the roamer to be able to originate a call.2 VoLGA VoLGA is more complicated than CS fallback: it relies on the legacy GSM/UMTS CS core to provide voice services as does CS fallback. they must eventually upgrade to VoIMS to gain the full advantage of the LTE network. The policy determines the order of the options with which the UE attempts to attach and later register on the LTE network and allows the operator to block options that are supported by the UE but not by the network. For example. VoLGA supports excellent LTE-to-UMTS PS-based handovers and handbacks if the operator chooses to implement VoIMS with UMTS. VoLGA ensures global coverage for LTE subscribers whether at home or roaming. and handbacks are supported with 3GPP Release 10. Expected to be widely deployed. it first tries to register on the LTE network using VoIMS. Because VoLGA uses the CS-based handover capabilities of legacy MSCs. but the option it uses when attaching to the LTE network is governed in the following order by: • UE capabilities • User’s HSS subscription information • Operator’s policy The operator’s policy is provisioned in the network and downloaded to the UE during its initial set-up. Using LTE access also enables VoLGA to support concurrent voice and data services. if the mobile device only supports VoIMS. end-goal solution for providing voice over LTE. but it leverages LTE PS access. the terminal reattempts to attach with CS fallback. VoIMS delivers the most benefits and its investment is largely future-safe. enabling the offering of advanced. For example. 4. Even if MSPs first choose to deploy CS fallback or VoLGA. VoLGA does not fully realize the benefits of an all-IP network. If registration fails. For a roamer to receive voice services while on an LTE network. If both of these options fail. multimedia services that are capable of generating new revenue streams for MSPs. handovers are supported from LTE to the GSM/UMTS network. Although SRVCC signaling is rather complicated. Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper 17 . VoIMS not only supports concurrent voice and data. eliminating the need to fall back to the GSM/UMTS network with the associated call set-up delay. Voice over LTE and roaming Another factor to consider when evaluating options for the delivery of voice services over LTE is the implication for roaming. transparency is only supported for conversational services. no other attempts are made because only the VoIMS and CS fallback options were specified by the operator’s policy. both the UE and the visited network must support the same options for providing voice.2. However. not for advanced blended services such as those supported by IMS. 5. all-IP network. making it well-suited for operators who run LTE networks without complete national coverage. its performance will likely improve over time.3 VoIMS VoIMS is the strategic. If registration is successful. because IMS is not used. VoLGA also supports voice service transparency between these networks.2. it provides excellent voice handovers between LTE and GSM/UMTS networks. VoIMS services are activated and no other options are attempted. if a terminal is programmed to first attempt to use VoIMS and then CS fallback. When implemented with ICS and SRVCC. With SRVCC and 3GPP Release 8. providing the operational benefits of a flat IP architecture.

6. the number of potential roaming partners nearly doubles. If the UE is operator provisioned to be data centric. it attaches and receives voice services from the GSM/UMTS. If the UE or LTE network both support only one option. Table 4. many LTE operators will likely choose not to support it on their networks. Otherwise. the number of potential LTE roaming partners to provide voice services to roamers may be limited. Table 3. or does it then reselect a GSM/UMTS cell and receive voice services over the GSM/UMTS network? The answer depends on whether the UE is set to be voice or data centric. Voice over LTE: recommendations for different operator types OPERATOR TYPE CS FALLBACK VoLGA VoIMS LTE VoIMS VoIMS UMTS PS VOIMS GSM/UMTS CS (ICS AND SRVCC) Operator with LTE network with complete national coverage GSM operator starting to deploy LTE UMTS operator starting to deploy LTE Operator planning to deploy UMTS VoIMS Operator with GSM/UMTS and CDMA networks Operator with wireline and wireless networks Operator offering UMA/GAN services Operator offering or planning to offer advanced IMS services CDMA – Code Division Multiple Access √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 18 Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper .Table 3 specifies the option used for voice-services delivery over LTE according to the option combinations supported by both the UE and visited LTE network. Recommendations Table 4 summarizes recommendations of options for providing voice over LTE depending on the type of operator. Voice over LTE options and roaming OPTIONS SUPPORTED BY UE (IN PRIORITIZED ORDER) OPTIONS SUPPORTED BY VISITED LTE NETWORK (IN PRIORITIZED ORDER) CSFB VoLGA VoLGA + CSFB VoIMS + VOLGA VoIMS VoIMS + CSFB CSFB VoLGA VoLGA + CSFB VoIMS + VoLGA VoIMS VoIMS + CSFB CSFB – CS fallback CSFB – CSFB – – CSFB – VoLGA VoLGA VoLGA – – CSFB VoLGA VoLGA VoLGA – CSFB – VoLGA VoLGA VoIMS VoIMS VoIMS – – – VoIMS VoIMS VoIMS CSFB – CSFB VoIMS VoIMS VoIMS If VoLGA fails to gain the acceptance of 3GPP. it remains on the LTE network. What happens when the UE attempts all the allowable options for voice-services delivery while roaming on a LTE network and they all fail? Does the UE stay on the LTE network and receive no voice services. severely limiting the number of potential LTE roaming partners for operators supporting only VoLGA or VoLGA along with another option on their UEs. However. when both the UE and LTE network support two out of the three available options.

VoLGA may be a suitable option for voice over LTE.3 VoIMS VoIMS. interim voice solution until IMS can be deployed. 6. In addition. Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper 19 . the only end-goal solution for providing voice over LTE. Because VoLGA uses the LTE access network. 6. VoLGA postpones IMS deployment. If an operator has currently deployed Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA)/Generic Access Network (GAN).6. until after the launch of LTE. overcoming the GSM service limitation of CS fallback.2 VoLGA VoLGA offers another interim option for MSPs that want to leverage their legacy voice core to quickly launch LTE voice.1 CS fallback Generally speaking. may be reused for VoLGA. This normally requires access to a radio band below 1 GHz and is therefore only likely for operators that have either obtained digital dividend spectrum or are planning to replace their GSM systems in the 850 MHz or 900 MHz band. we recommend that VoIMS be deployed with LTE access and UMTS PS access. Where HSPA+ is not available. VoLGA is an especially good choice for GSM MSPs with limited UMTS coverage. allowing operators to leverage skill sets developed with UMA deployment and operations. and some UMA network equipment. we recommend that VoIMS be deployed with LTE and GSM/UMTS CS access. UMTS PS. VoIMS gives operators with wireless and wireline networks the opportunity to offer converged fixed and mobile services. may be deployed initially as LTE is introduced or later as a network evolution of a CS fallback or VoLGA interim solution. such as RCS. the Advanced Wireless Spectrum (AWS) may also provide sufficient LTE coverage because it was only recently auctioned and may not be well deployed with UMTS. the LTE access network can be used for voice services delivery. low-cost. CS fallback is ideal for MSPs with good UMTS coverage because it supports the PS handovers required for concurrent voice and data services. CS fallback provides a good. along with the changes it necessitates to the back-office systems. The advantage of this implementation method is that it enables excellent simultaneous voice and data PS-based handovers and handbacks between the two networks. VoIMS may be deployed with: • LTE access only • LTE and UMTS PS access • LTE and GSM/UMTS CS access • LTE. thereby increasing revenue and reducing subscriber churn. At the same time. for operators planning on an early launch of LTE for data services. it can support simultaneous voice and data services. VoIMS is also a good option for MSPs with both GSM/UMTS and CDMA networks because IMS offers convergence between fixed and wireless as well as between different wireless access technologies. using SRVCC and UE-based ICS to ensure service continuity and feature transparency between the operator’s LTE and GSM/UMTS networks. For operators running LTE networks without complete national coverage. such as the AAA server and security gateway. and GSM/UMTS CS access We recommend that VoIMS be used with LTE access only when LTE coverage is sufficient. with HSPA+ coverage filling in LTE gaps. In the United States and Canada. Network implementation is similar. VoIMS is also a good choice for operators that plan to deploy advanced multimedia services.

fixed/mobile converged. Alcatel-Lucent is uniquely positioned to be the committed partner of choice as operators evolve their 2G/3G networks to LTE. 7. VoIMS with UMTS HSPA+. GSM/UMTS/ CDMA converged. next-generation multiple-input multipleoutput (MIMO). such as self-optimized networks. MSPs are better equipped to make informed decisions for the delivery of voice services as LTE is introduced into their networks. products. industry leadership in IMS service delivery platforms.VoIMS is also an excellent option for operators that have already implemented some IMS services in their network. the types of services it supports. services. leveraging our unique expertise in 2G/3G standards. next-generation wireless access technologies. and active participation in leading LTE organizations and forums • Unmatched end-to-end LTE solution that leverages our market leadership in next-generation IP transformation and service delivery. VoLGA. With the most comprehensive portfolio of telecommunications products and services in the industry. and network implementation requirements. and Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs innovations. UMTS. We have examined and evaluated each option based on how it works. LTE trial leadership with major operators. We have also evaluated the implication of the options and option combinations for roaming. and VoIMS. and ambient network • A broad and open ecosystem of compelling devices and applications 20 Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper . recognized expertise in packet transport. Alcatel-Lucent has the expertise. MSPs must consider the following factors when choosing an option or option combination that is best suited for their network: • Timing of the LTE network launch: near or far future • LTE coverage: complete or partial national coverage • Type of network currently deployed: GSM. Specifically. or other technologies • Timing for the introduction of new advanced multimedia services • Decision to implement an interim solution or go straight to the end-goal solution • Voice over LTE options/option combinations of roaming partners By gaining an in-depth understanding of each option along with its impact on the GSM/UMTS network. we provide: • Global LTE offer with service continuity and integration for 2G/3G networks. and there is no “right” option for all. and global reach that have won us a leadership role in the LTE evolution. or IMS • Planned network upgrades to UMTS. Conclusion This paper has presented three options for providing voices services as LTE is introduced in the network: CS fallback. UMA. Some or all equipment can be reused along with the IMS implementation and operational skill sets that have been developed. Each option has advantages and disadvantages.

Call Session Control Function Tracking Area ID Telephony Application Server Transmission Control Protocol user equipment Unlicensed Mobile Access Universal Mobile Telecommunications System Unstructured Supplementary Service Data UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network VoLGA Access Network Controller Voice over IMS Voice over IP Voice over LTE via Generic Access Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper 21 .Circuit-Switched Resources Generic Access Network GSM EDGE Radio Access Network Gateway GPRS Support Node Global System for Mobile Communications GSM Association Home Location Register High Speed Packet Access Evolved High Speed Packet Access Home Subscriber Server IMS Centralized Services IP Multimedia Subsystem International Mobile Subscriber Identity interoperability testing Internet Protocol IP Short Message Gateway IMS Service Continuity Interworking Function Location Area ID Long Term Evolution Media Gateway Control Function MGW MIMO MME MMS MSC MSP OSS PCRF PDN PDN GW PS PSHO QoS RAB RAN RCS RNC RNS ROHC RRC RTP S-CSCF SCC AS SGSN SGW SIP SMS SRVCC SRVCC AS S-CSCF TAI TAS TCP UE UMA UMTS USSD UTRAN VANC VoIMS VoIP VoLGA Media Gateway multiple-input multiple-output Mobility Management Entity Multimedia Messaging Service Mobile Switching Center mobile service provider operations support system Policing and Charging Rules Function packet data network PDN Gateway packet-switched PS handover quality of service radio access bearer radio access network Rich Communication Suite radio network controller Radio Network Subsystem Robust Header Compression Radio Resource Control Real Time Protocol Serving . Abbreviations 2G 3G 3GPP AAA ARPU AWS BSC BSS CAMEL CDMA CS CS NAS CSCF CSFB DTM EDGE EPC EPS eNode B E-UTRAN G3 Fax GA-CSR GAN GERAN GGSN GSM GSMA HLR HSPA HSPA+ HSS ICS IMS IMSI IOT IP IP-SM-GW ISC IWF LAI LTE MGCF second generation third generation 3rd Generation Partnership Project authentication. authorization and accounting average revenue per user Advanced Wireless Spectrum Base Station Controller Base Station System Customized Applications for Mobile network Enhanced Logic Code Division Multiple Access circuit-switched Circuit Switched Non-Access Signaling Call Session Control Function CS fallback Dual Transfer Mode Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution Evolved Packet Core Evolved Packet System Evolved Node B Evolved UTRAN Group 3 Fax Generic Access .8.Call Session Control Function Service Centralization and Continuity Application Server Serving GPRS Support Node Serving Gateway Session Initiation Protocol Short Message Service Single Radio Voice Call Continuity SRVCC Application Server Serving .

volga-forum. 22 Options for Providing Voice over LTE and Their Impact on the GSM/UMTS Network | Strategic White Paper .6% wireless data revenue growth in Q1. http://www. FierceMobileContent.alcatel-lucent. Stage 2 Specification. 2009. FierceMobileContent. References [1] Ankeny.php) • Voice over LTE via Generic Access. AT&T Posts 38. Christine. Requirements Specification.fiercemobilecontent. April 3.com or contact your Customer Team representative.237: IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) Service Continuity. [4] Marek. June 2009. 2009. Verizon data revenue tops $3.292: IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) centralized services.org/Specification-Numbering) • TS 23.com/story/verizon-data-revenue-tops-3-6-billion-1q/2009-04-27 [5] 3GPP (http://www. 2009.com/story/t-reports-q4-mobile-data-revenues-3-1-billion/200901-28?utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss&cmp-id=OTC-RSS-FMC0 [2] Ankeny.221:Architectural requirements • TS 23.com +1 972 477 0410 • Christine De Monfreid: Public Relations. Phase 1.1 Billion. 2008 – 2014. January 28.fiercemobilecontent.De_Monfreid@alcatel-lucent. Sue. April 22. Mobile broadband growth forecast. Jason. VoLGA Forum. IMS. http://www.com/volgaSpecifications. http://www. Sofia.6 billion in 1Q.com/story/t-posts-38-6-wireless-data-revenue-growth-q1/2009-04-22 [3] Mackenzie. and Mobile NGN solutions. April 27.Flores@alcatel-lucent. August 24.401: General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) enhancements for Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network (E-UTRAN) access • TR 23. Stage 2 • TS 23. 2009. Michele. Stage 2 • TS 23. Jason. AT&T Reports Q4 Mobile Data Revenues of $3.fiercemobilecontent.3gpp. and Steven Hartley. please visit www. Stage 2 • TS 23.fr +33 1 3077 5914 10. Ovum. Stage 2 • TS 23.228: IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). You can also contact Alcatel-Lucent Marketing or Public Relations: • Sofia Flores: Wireless Product Marketing. FierceMobileContent.879: Study on Circuit Switched (CS) domain services over evolved Packet Switched (PS) access [6] VoLGA (http://www. • Voice over LTE via Generic Access.9.204: Support of Short Message Service (SMS) over generic 3GPP Internet Protocol (IP) access.272: Circuit Switched (CS) Fallback in Evolved Packet System (EPS). Contacts For more information on Alcatel-Lucent LTE. VolGA Forum. 2009.216: Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC). Stage 2 • TS 23. Stage 2 • TS 23. Phase 1.

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