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DOES YOUR PCRF

HAVE WHAT IT TAKES


TO SUPPORT VOLTE?
DOES YOUR PCRF HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO SUPPORT VOLTE? | 2
Table of Contents
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ........................................................................... 3
INTRODUCTION ...................................................................................... 3
WHATS SPECIAL ABOUT VOLTE TRAFFIC? .......................................... 4
POLICY CONTROL INTEGRATION
AS A REQUIREMENT TO SUPPORT VOLTE ............................................ 4
MEETING THE STRINGENT REQUIREMENTS
FOR HIGH-QUALITY VOICE SERVICES .................................................. 5
A NEW APPROACH TO VOICE SERVICES .............................................. 5
SAFETY AND REGULATORY COMPLIANCE ........................................... 6
POLICY DEPLOYMENT MODELS FOR VOLTE ........................................ 7
CONCLUSIONS ...................................................................................... 8
AMDOCS POLICY SOLUTIONS
A KEY ENABLER IN VOLTE DEPLOYMENTS ........................................... 9
ABOUT AMDOCS .................................................................................. 10
DOES YOUR PCRF HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO SUPPORT VOLTE? | 3
Executive summary
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) brings voice to Long Term Evolution
(LTE) networks, enabling service providers to manage voice
and data trafc more efciently, and to provide a wide range
of new services. Launching VoLTE requires mobile operators
to not only deploy the IP multimedia subsystem (IMS),
but also to integrate it with the policy and charging rules
function (PCRF) to offer high-quality, reliable voice services.
A scalable and hardened policy controller that supports the
latest standards and advanced VoLTE functionality is crucial
to ensuring a smooth transition to VoLTE and a successful
expansion of carrier based multi-media services.
With the integration of policy control and VoLTE, mobile
operators can use their network resources more efciently
and create a new service framework for their voice services,
which will lead to improved quality of experience (QoE) and
subscriber retention. In addition, extending policy functionality
to VoLTE enables service providers to meet safety and security
requirements (e.g., emergency calls and lawful intercept), and
to expand roaming service options and revenues.
Introduction
For decades, voice was the crucial growth driver for mobile
services, as well as the mainstay of the wireless industry.
The rise to prominence of data services introduces changes
within the growth dynamics. With the widespread adoption of
smartphones, the revenue contribution from non-voice data
services has grown, along with those services perceived value
to subscribers and the percentage of overall trafc they capture.
Yet even with the popularity of data services, voice retains a
special prominence as a mobile service. Customer acquisition
and retention will continue to depend on the quality of
voice services, while at the same time the infrastructure
supporting voice services is undergoing an overhaul in LTE.
In LTE networks, VoLTE gives mobile operators the tools to
move to higher-quality voice, richer services, and integrated
voice-and-data service offerings the rst step toward a
truly unied communications experience.
Subscribers are ready for change. In the last few years, they
have started to migrate to over-the-top (OTT) apps that
offer compelling and innovative voice, even though these
services typically provide inferior quality. The move to VoIP
and messaging OTT services is only partially driven by the
lower costs of OTT services, and more by the improved
functionality, easier-to-use interface and social networking
links. With VoLTE and rich communication services (RCS),
mobile operators can reinforce their role as the main provider
of voice and messaging services, both by introducing the
same features that make OTT applications attractive to
subscribers, and by providing a superior performance for
these applications. Service providers have exclusive control
over unique assets their networks, a trusted relationship
with subscribers, and knowledge about subscriber
preferences and location to deliver superior services using
quality as a key differentiator.
To meet service providers requirements, VoLTE PCRF
solutions have to provide a voice service over LTE that is at
a minimum comparable, if not superior, to traditional circuit-
switched voice. Specically, VoLTE and the supporting IMS
core have to be fully integrated with policy control and
enforcement to prioritize trafc effectively in support of voice
services. The PCRF has to have the scalability, exibility and
functionality required to support the unique requirements
stemming from VoLTE trafc, such as high performance to
meet the increased signaling, and the growing complexity of
managing multi-service trafc ows.
We are at a crucial stage in VoLTE adoption today.
According to the Global Mobile Supplier Association (GSA),
more than 270 operators have deployed LTE with most
others committed to introducing VoLTE. This is a complex
transition where much is at stake, and mobile operators
have to be careful not to degrade existing data services and
legacy voice services while launching VoLTE.
VoLTE treats voice as a data service although a special
one, subject to more stringent performance requirements
than other data services leaving service providers to
determine how to manage voice trafc in relation to other
types of data trafc, such as web browsing, video content
and social media.
This paper discusses the specic policy management
requirements stemming from VoLTE, including quality of
service (QoS) support, scalability and from mandated safety
and security functionality, which dictate what it takes for a
PCRF to fully support VoLTE.
DOES YOUR PCRF HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO SUPPORT VOLTE? | 4
Whats special about VoLTE traffic?
LTE mobile networks no longer manage voice trafc
separately from data trafc. LTE replaces the circuit-
switched voice network with a packet-switched network
that supports both voice and data, and optimizes the trafc
mix. However to support the required high-quality voice
services, mobile operators need to have control tools to
treat voice trafc differently from data trafc.
To provide high-denition (HD) voice quality, LTE operators
need to assign the highest QoS (i.e., a QoS class identier
[QCI] of 1) to VoLTE trafc. To do so, multiple network
elements are required (Figure 1):

FIGURE 1: MANAGING VOLTE TRAFFIC WITHIN AN LTE NETWORK
IMS (SIP)
eNodeB UE
MME /
SGW
PGW
(PCEF)
P-CSCF S-CSCF
HSS
LTE / EPC (DIAMETER)
SIP-DEDICATED BEARER (CONTROL PLANE)
VOICE-DEDICATED BEARER (USER PLANE)
PCRF
Rx
Cx
SGI S5 S1-U, S1-MME
S6
Gx
Policy control integration as a requirement
to support VoLTE
To manage voice trafc with VoLTE in an LTE network, mobile
operators need to integrate the IMS within the LTE evolved
packet core (EPC) because this allows them to apply QoS
functionality to voice services.
The tight coordination between the proxy call session control
function (P-CSCF) in the IMS, and the PCRF in the LTE/EPC
network brings new challenges, because VoLTE generates
high signaling volumes up to 10 to 12 times the transactions
per second (TPS) than non-voice data trafc generates.
To avoid unsustainable signaling levels or signaling oods,
which disrupt not only voice but also the entire networks
performance, mobile operators require a highly scalable
PCRF with proven support of the Rx interface.
Once mobile operators have control over the increased
complexity and signaling trafc volume that result from the
integration of the IMS within the LTE/EPC, they can offer
advanced voice services that are not available in a switched-
voice environment.
Mobile operators can set policies, such as use multiple
codecs within the network for different subscribers, or to
negotiate QoS by trafc type and subscriber/device, in the
PCRF to be applied to voice trafc through the Rx interface
within the IMS. This policy-based approach to managing
voice trafc enables mobile operators to optimize QoE,
allocate network resources at peak times when capacity is
limited, and tailor services based on subscribers individual
plans, tier and device types.
DOES YOUR PCRF HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO SUPPORT VOLTE? | 5
Meeting the stringent requirements for high-
quality voice services
While subscribers attach increasing value to data services,
their expectations about service voice availability and
reliability remain stricter than those for data. To ensure high
availability and quality of voice services, the PCRF has to
support geo-redundancy for reliability, as well as Gx and Rx
session continuity in case of local and geo-redundant fail
overs. With geo-redundancy, a PCRF can preserve voice
service reliability by handling requests originally directed to a
nonresponsive PCRF to avoid VoLTE service outages.
To capitalize on the benets of VoLTE, service providers
cannot be constrained by legacy PCRF solutions that
are incapable of handling the rigors of VoLTEs added
functionality, scalability and performance. They need a future-
proof solution with full support for the Gx and Rx interfaces
as dened in the latest Third Generation Partnership Project
(3GPP) specications, as well as GSM Association (GSMA)
guidelines for manage dedicated bearers.
To accommodate current and future IP address allocations
for VoLTE, and driven by the need to support an increasing
number of devices, mobile operators have to choose a
PCRF that supports IPv4, IPv6 and IPv4v6.
Standards support facilitates the easy integration of VoLTE
into LTE networks and the adoption of new functionality.
In turn, this leads to lower costs by reducing the
complexity of customization and interoperability testing in
multivendor environments.
A new approach to voice services
With VoLTE, the PCRF takes on a central role in dening and
managing voice services, within the wider framework of IP-
based mobile data services.
The rst advantage gained is consistency across services.
Data is no longer an add-on to the base plan. In some
countries, most subscribers already have plans that include
integrated voice and data allocations. With VoLTE, the
distinction between a voice cap and a data cap may cease
to exist, and service providers can treat voice trafc as data
trafc if they so choose.
When offering bundled offers, location-based services,
tiered plans, dynamic offerings based on real-time network
load, or roaming offers, the service provider has the ability
to use consistent (or the same) policy denitions for both
voice and data. This may make the service offering more
compelling and easier to communicate to subscribers, who
are often overwhelmed by the complexity of mobile plans.
At the same time, because the value of voice and data
services is not currently perceived as the same to
subscribers, service providers need to retain the ability to
meter and charge separately for voice and data as well
as for different VoLTE services, including basic voice, SMS,
video calls, multimedia services, and other RCS (Table 1,
Figure 2). For instance, a service provider may want to
dene a plan with separate caps one for data, another for
voice, and a third for video calls and combine them with
unlimited SMSs.
TABLE 1: VOLTE-ENABLED SERVICE OFFERINGS THAT REQUIRE POLICY INTEGRATION
VoLTE-enabled service offerings that require policy integration
Bundled offers Premium voice and data services, in combined plans
Time and volume offers Flexible voice charging that can be based on both time (minutes) and volume (bytes)
Location-based offers Differentiating voice charging based on congestion hotspots versus geography
Tiered services QoE based on different packages and plans
Dynamic offers
Real-time value offerings promoted on a dynamic basis, based on real-time network
performance and contextual information
Roaming offers Tailored offers based on partnerships with other service providers
DOES YOUR PCRF HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO SUPPORT VOLTE? | 6
The wider opportunities to use policy to dene new services
with VoLTE extends to roaming as well. The Rx interface
between the CSCF and the PCRF enables QoS support while
roaming, extending tiering and other capabilities to the visited
network for a consistent subscriber experience. Through the
S9 interface between the home and visited PCRFs, mobile
operators will be able to develop customized agreements
with their roaming partners that require QoS functionality and
that enable more sophisticated charging models, including
local breakout (LBO) either when they and their operator
partners are ready, or when regulation mandates them. For
instance, tiering functionality may expand to roaming, and
roaming deals may be offered on the basis of the real-time
network conditions of the visited network.
Safety and regulatory compliance
Service providers deploying VoLTE also need to be in
compliance with safety and other regulatory requirements,
such as emergency calls and lawful intercept. Service
providers have to assign the highest QoS to emergency calls,
to ensure reliability and to provide precise location information.
Emergency services and location information are not value-
added services, but vital requirements for all voice networks.
In most countries, they are legally regulated. To deploy VoLTE
commercially, mobile operators have to be able to support
emergency services that are always available and have the
highest available reliability.
Even where regulation does not mandate strict requirements
and allows service providers to fall back to legacy networks
for emergency services, native support of these services
within VoLTE is essential to a future-proof solution. As LTE
coverage increases through network expansion or replaces
legacy networks through spectrum refarming, emergency
services become mandatory in locations where service
providers have LTE-only coverage.
The mandated support of emergency calls, lawful intercept
and other services requires full integration between the
VoLTE/IMS and the LTE/EPC, and adherence to 3GPP
standards to collect location information.

FIGURE 2: VOLTE AS A STEP TOWARD ENRICHED COMMUNICATIONS

EVOLVED
COMMUNICATION
SOLUTIONS
VIDEO
Video Call
HD Video
GROUP COMMS
Group Video Calls
Voice
Conference Call
Group Messaging
Family-Centric Comms
REACHABILITY AND
ADD-ON SERVICES
Simultaneous File Transfer
Share Location with Contact
One Number for all Devices
Social Network Integration
VOICE
VoIP
HD Voice
MESSAGING
SMS/MMS
Instant Messaging
One Inbox for all Messages
ADDRESS BOOK
AND CONTACT MANAGEMENT
Integrated Address Book
Shared Contacts
Status and Presence

s
Ad-Hoc
DOES YOUR PCRF HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO SUPPORT VOLTE? | 7
To support emergency calls, the mobile device has to
maintain a connection to an access point name (APN) for
VoLTE to ensure that a call can be initiated at any time and
directed to the nearest public safety answering point (PSAP).
Operators have to enable PSAPs to call back subscribers
if the call is interrupted, and to support emergency voice
continuity so that VoLTE emergency calls can be handed off
to legacy networks if the caller moves to an area without LTE
coverage. This functionality has to be provided both within
the home network and during roaming (i.e., allow emergency
calls to be placed even when roaming is blocked).
In the emergency service context, the PCRF has to
instantiate the appropriate policy to ensure that emergency
calls receive the highest priority. It also has to provide
the 3GPP-dened subscriber location information to the
P-CSCF so that the call is correctly routed.
The control over trafc ows within the PCRF enables mobile
operators to identify and lter targeted voice trafc and
therefore to support lawful intercept and similar services.
To support lawful intercept, the P-CSCF sends a request
over Rx to the PCRF, which in turn is routed to the PCEF
for enforcement. Having a PCRF solution that supports
regulatory requirements for lawful intercept enables the
same level of support for VoLTE services as seen by
traditional circuit switched networks.
Policy deployment models for VoLTE
The optimal approach for policy control and VoLTE is still
being debated in the industry, but there is a growing shift
towards a dual-PCRF model. In a model such as this, a
legacy PCRF provides policy control functions for all LTE
data trafc, such as bandwidth management, QoS control,
and fair usage policy. A second, PCRF is deployed alongside
the legacy PCRF, specically designed to handle VoLTE
(IP voice) trafc. Most service providers deploying VoLTE
services plan to use a dedicated APN for VoLTE trafc,
having a dual-PCRF model can utilize this dedicated APN to
separate the voice and data trafc.

FIGURE 3: A DUAL-PCRF MODEL
Gx
Rx/SOAP
SPR
Sd
Sp
APPLICATION SERVERS
(IMS, NON-IMS)
INTERNET
VoLTE PCRF
MOBILE DEVICES



eUTRAN
(eNodeB)
S-GW P-GW
TDF/DPI
LEGACY PCRF

ONLINE
CHARGING
SYSTEM

VoLTE APN Gx
Sy
DOES YOUR PCRF HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO SUPPORT VOLTE? | 8
Industry research indicates that service providers are
acknowledging that legacy PCRFs will need to be upgraded
or replaced to meet the rigorous demands of VoLTE
According to a recent Heavy Reading operator survey,
60 percent of service providers stated that they needed
to upgrade their existing PCRF solution to handle VoLTE,
another 10 percent stated that they had to replace their
policy solution altogether (Source, Heavy Reading, 2013).
The consensus is that service providers can de-risk their
VoLTE service launch by continuing to enforce data plan
policies using their existing PCRF and introducing VoLTE with
a VoLTE-specic PCRF. This dual-PCRF model also helps to
provide a time-to-market advantage for VoLTE services.
As service providers consider their VoLTE launch plans, it
makes sense to consider a dual-PCRF model. Benets of
this model include, a simplied, reduced risk launch with
rapid time to market. As VoLTE services grow, service
providers can ultimately evolve towards a unied policy
control platform for both their data and VoLTE services.
Regardless of whether service providers choose a dual-PCRF
model or not, its imperative the policy solution deployed to
handle VoLTE trafc has what it takes to tackle the challenges
of managing voice trafc within a data network and preserve
the voice quality that subscribers expect.
Conclusions
VoLTE gives mobile operators the opportunity to chart a
new strategy for voice offering richer and more attractive
services, and fully integrating voice trafc management
with overall data trafc. A successful VoLTE implementation
improves customer retention, as it extends 2G and 3G
voice, and SMS services by providing better voice quality
and reliable QoS. It also expands the scope for mobile
operators and OTT providers to work together to dene new
services and establish new charging and revenue-sharing
models. A carefully planned and executed integration of
IMS and PCRF is required in order for a service provider to
seamlessly insert VoLTE into LTE networks and leverage the
functionality of VoLTE, and more generally IMS.
DOES YOUR PCRF HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO SUPPORT VOLTE? | 9
Amdocs Policy Solutions a key enabler in
VoLTE deployments
The Amdocs Policy Solutions, including the Amdocs Policy
Controller and the Amdocs VoLTE Controller, are powerful
complements to the IMS core that gives mobile operators the
functionality, reliability and scalability in their LTE networks
to support VoLTE. Whether for initial deployments in which
VoLTE coexists within circuit-switched legacy networks,
or for mature deployments where VoLTE becomes the
dominant voice interface, Amdocs Policy Solutions support
the VoLTE functionality needed to successfully launch a new
generation of voice services.
To provide the high-quality, rich, personalized voice services
that VoLTE and HD voice enable, service providers cannot
rely on legacy PCRF solutions. These legacy solutions limit
service providers exibility in dening and managing services,
as well as their ability to leverage technology and standards
to differentiate their offerings from those of their competitors.
The Amdocs Policy Controller and Amdocs VoLTE
Controller provides the industrys most comprehensive
support for advanced functionality, evolving standards and
interoperability, to ensure service providers will be at the
leading edge in offering VoLTE services to their subscribers.
The Amdocs VoLTE Controller also provides a time-to-
market advantage, allowing service providers to launch
VoLTE services in a matter of months, differentiating their
services in an already competitive market. The Amdocs
VoLTE Controller can be deployed alongside existing PCRF
solutions in a coexistence strategy, ensuring all VoLTE trafc
is handled by the purpose-built, VoLTE-specic PCRF. This
approach to VoLTE policy support de-risks existing LTE data
services and allows for simplied and cost-effective entry
into the VoLTE market.
Feature Why is it needed?
Scalability
Accommodate the increased Diameter signaling generated to manage VoLTE trafc within
the LTE/EPC network
QoS, dedicated bearer
support
Assign highest priority to voice trafc to ensure high quality and reliability in voice services
Policy denition for Rx
call ows
Customize treatment of voice trafc (e.g., to allow codec selection)
Geo-redundancy
Minimize network disruption to voice services caused by temporary unavailability of core
network elements
Support for latest 3GPP
standards
Support the most advanced functionality for new service creation and for interoperability
IPv4, IPv6, IPv4v6
dual-stack support
Deploy a future-proof solution for IP address allocation and to support multiple IP addresses
in VoLTE devices
Emergency call support Comply with regulatory requirements, especially if planning spectrum refarming
3GPP location Provide location information to the P-CSCF for emergency call services
Consistent policy
denitions
Enable combined or differentiated voice and data charging, and support bundling, tiering,
dynamic services, location-based services, and roaming offers
Roaming support
Introduce QoS functionality in roaming to widen the scope of services and revenue
opportunity, and to support LBO
Voice trafc ltering Meet mandates for lawful intercept
Scalability
Accommodate the increased Diameter signaling generated to manage VoLTE trafc within
the LTE/EPC network
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