Thursday, March 12, 2009

Guest Blogger: Peter Jarich, Current Analysis

Today, I'm pleased to introduce our guest blogger, one of our industry's leading analysts.
Guest Blogger: Peter Jarich
Research Director, Telecom Infrastructure, Mobile Networks and Carrier Core with Current Analysis

Sizing up the VoLGA

Emerson said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” In my case, it’s just a way to get through my job. With new technologies and technology initiatives emerging on a weekly basis, analytical crutches are one of the few ways I can figure out what makes sense. Take a few of my favorite questions.

Does it Meet Real Operator Demands?
There’s no shortage of new (and old) technologies being sold as telecom “solutions.” Likewise, there’s no shortage of operators willing to explain their network and service pain points. It’s not too difficult to line these up against one another and figure out which technologies are solutions in search of a problem.

Do Vendors Support It Against Their Strategic Interests?
This is really a subset of the last question. Anytime a vendor endorses something that runs contrary to its core business objectives – think macro network RAN vendors selling femtocells or most any vendor supporting TD-SCDMA – you know there’s a clear operator requirement forcing them in that direction.

Does It Have a Cool Name?
We all know a cool name can carry a mediocre product. Who doesn’t think that Apple’s iPhone would have sold millions even it wasn’t so cool? At the other end of the spectrum, technologies that can overcome the curse of a bad name (DSL, HSPA, most Nokia phones) must be doing something right.

So, where does the new VoLGA initiative fit in?
Based on all the conversations at Mobile World Congress, voice over LTE is a clear operator hot button; given the money voice earns for them, that’s not too surprising. And, based on the fact that key VoLGA supporters have been trying to sell IMS for years, it’s fair to say that their support is likely being driven by more than a heartfelt love of GAN. And the name? An acronym with an embedded acronym recalling a Russian river? That fact that any operators can get past the name is a testament to its importance.

All joking aside, there can be no question that any operator planning an LTE rollout has the question of voice support on their mind; even if voice can be relegated to legacy 2G and 3G networks, an ideal world involves operators converging multiple services on one network. And while a single voice-over-LTE solution would best support scale, the fact remains the diversity of cellcos demands a diversity of LTE voice solutions – including solutions deliver consistent voice services based on a current, proven switching investments.

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