According to the survey, conducted by analyst firm MobileSQUARED on behalf of BroadSoft, about three-quarters of mobile operators surveyed globally are currently deploying, trialing or planning to deploy LTE. LTE is a 4G wireless technology developed by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) to deliver mobile broadband services with potential for 100Mbps downstream and 30Mbps upstream, with even faster speeds possible.
These faster LTE speeds can help mobile operators leverage their assets far beyond traditional voice and messaging. The survey shows that LTE will help mobile operators provide wider variety of communication options. For example, 92% of respondents surveyed either currently offer or are planning to offer UC services for enterprise customers and 83% are currently or are planning to offer Rich Communications Suite (RCS) services for consumers. (BroadSoft and others define RCS as services that can be offered to mobile subscribers as an integrated solution with defined standard capabilities like enhanced calls, enhanced messaging and enhanced phonebook, which should be supported by mobile carriers the same way SMS is supported today.)
Commenting on the opportunity for MNOs, Scott Hoffpauir, BroadSoft's CTO, said in a statement that "the results of the BroadSoft survey reinforce [his] view that LTE offers significant opportunities for mobile network operators to leverage an all-IP environment to deliver innovative communications services that enhance, rather than replace, voice." He continued by saying, "With the proliferation of mobile tablets and smartphones, we believe Voice over LTE (VoLTE) can be a game changer for mobile carriers, as they are ideally positioned to provide a single communications identity -- a phone number -- through which their customers can always be reached, regardless of the communication app, voice, video, texting, IM, or device they choose.
Hoffpauir added, "We believe the introduction of these innovative communication services will enable MNOs to radically change the communication experience. We expect to see voice become high-definition (HD) voice, video calling become a standard feature and text messaging evolve to content messaging, with the sharing of pictures and videos, and all in real-time."