Genband, Kineto start voice-over-LTE trials with T-Mobile
Genband and Kineto Wireless are conducting one of the first trials of the proposed voice over LTE via the generic access network, or VoLGA, standard. Both are working with VoLGA’s biggest proponent T-Mobile on a network core trial to prove the viability of using legacy voice and messaging infrastructure to route voice-over-IP calls over future long-term evolution networks.
LTE will be the first evolution of cellular technology to support an end-to-end IP data network, which means any voice calls or SMS messages will have to travel the radio access network via IP. Some operators, such as AT&T (NYSE:T), plan to quickly move their voice services to the IP network, creating an end-to-end VoIP solution that relies on IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) architectures to manage and route IP calls and SMS. But operators such as T-Mobile don’t necessarily have plans for full-bore in their future, but they have extensive networks of legacy mobile switching centers and SMS centers they want to leverage over their LTE networks once built. VoLGA simply allows them to encapsulate those messages and calls in IP over the radio access network. Upon arriving at the core those packets are unwrapped revealing the circuit-switched transmissions within, which are then offloaded from the 4G data core and routed through the legacy network.
T-Mobile Germany is conducting the initial trial using Kineto’s VoLGA network controller and Genband’s increasingly versatile G9 platform for the security and media gateway functions. Kineto was one of the founders of the VoLGA Forum and one of the technology’s most vocal backers, as it keys off earlier work it has done with the unlicensed mobile access and femtocell protocol standards.
Over the last year, Genband has ventured out of its comfort zone in IP trunking gateways to target much more of the wireless and IMS markets. It bought NextPoint last year to aid its entrance into the session border controller and security gateway segments, and it has been augmenting its media gateway line with hosts of new features to position as femtocell and mobile VoIP gateways for 3G and 4G networks.
At SUPERCOMM this week, Genband announced new enhancements to its workhorse G9 platform that its is targeting directly at wireless operators. Those include fixed trunking support for more 3GPP and IMS interfaces, new wireline and wireless protocols, transcoding codecs, and virtual media gateway support.
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