Ericsson, Qualcomm and US operator AT&T have announced at Mobile World Congress 2017 that they have completed the first VoLTE call for IoT on existing mobile network infrastructure.
The demonstration used a Qualcomm LTE modem designed to support LTE-M (otherwise known as Cat-M1), as well as an Ericsson LTE RAN, IMS, evolved packet core, user data management network infrastructure and software.
AT&T president of IoT solutions Chris Penrose said demonstrating that LTE-M supports voice calls opens up a range of potential new service offerings for enterprise customers.
“The ability to support voice services is an important feature to many verticals within our IoT portfolio, including our customers in the alarm and security industry, automotive, wearables and connected health markets,” he said.
Potential applications include connected security alarm panels, remote first aid kits, wearables capable of placing calls, digital locks and disposable security garments.
"With this successful demonstration of Cat-M1/LTE-M also supporting VoLTE voice calls in IoT devices, we are providing more value to operators and users,” Ericsson head of network applications for IT and cloud products Anders Olin added.
“The benefit of basic human communication blends perfectly into the IoT environment. Supported by our radio and core portfolios, it will now be feasible to globally deploy voice services for IoT cost-effectively for all kinds of industries and different use cases."
Ericsson predicts that VoLTE uptake will accelerate to reach 3.3 billion by the end of 2022, accounting for more than 60% of all LTE subscriptions.