One Voice beats VoLGA for GSMA's LTE voice standard

John C. Tanner
16 Feb 2010

GSMA has adopted One Voice as the official solution for its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) initiative, effectively shutting out rival industry group VoLGA.

One Voice is the initiative formed in November 2009 by a number of operators and vendors as a way of dealing with legacy circuit-switched voice and SMS traffic over LTE’s all-packet network.

The GSMA waded into the LTE voice debate last year, announcing an initiative to evaluate and back a VoLTE standard to avoid fragmentation.

One Voice – which backs an IMS-based approach – was vying for the blessing of the GSMA and 3GPP in competition with VoLGA (Voice over LTE via Generic Access), which was spearheaded by T-Mobile and Kineto Wireless last year as an alternative to CS (circuit-switched) fallback, another solution that allowed operators with legacy 2G networks to use them to serve LTE’s voice/SMS requirements.

GSMA chief technology and strategy officer Alex Sinclair said it was One Voice’s adherence to IMS that won the day.

“In the end it has to be IMS-based because that is the standard for LTE going forward,” Sinclair said, adding that One Voice’s membership is “a broad representation of the industry that backs up that conclusion”, in reference to One Voice’s heavy operator support.

One Voice has AT&T, Orange, Telefonica, TeliaSonera, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone onboard, while T-Mobile is the only operator to officially back VoLGA.

As for IMS, VoLGA’s proponents have argued that many cellcos have no definite plans to adopt IMS and need a solution now that doesn’t rely on deploying it.

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