Where is the All-IP Network?

Paul Lambert, Informa Telecoms and Media, recently listed some of the challenges CSPs face in the transition to LTE: “While the outlook for LTE network-roll-outs is extremely positive, the industry, as a whole, needs to resolve key challenges that are barriers to uptake: these include fragmentation arising from the proliferation of spectrum bands used for LTE worldwide, the provision of voice over LTE, the availability of smartphones, and LTE roaming.”

Path to the future

The truth is that all-IP is everything that it's cracked up to be, it is the path to the future, but it's still many years off. While the end seems imminent, the PTSN dial-tone will still ring for another decade or longer, and ISDN networks will continue to operate for another ten years as well. Collapsing legacy communication networks into a single ecosystem is a task that is encumbered by initial transition costs, fragmented standards, legacy lifecycle concerns, and competitive pressures. It is a migration that is compounded by the fact that VoLTE is proving harder to develop commercially than originally thought. (At press time, the only operator globally to launch VoLTE is SK Telecom, and only two operators--Verizon and MetroPCS--have announced VoLTE launches.) But this is definitely no reason to deem all-IP a dream--now is the time to strike service partnerships for the future, and approach network planning with the migration to all-IP in mind.


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