VoLTE Customer Experience – Breaking down the barriers

At last week’s LTE Voice Summit in London, I presented on the complexity of monitoring the end-to-end customer experience of VoLTE service and the barriers that mobile service providers (MSPs) often face when looking to implement customer experience initiatives and deploying solutions capable of measuring it. The session attracted a large and diverse audience of not only MSPs, but also vendors in the network equipment and service and performance management spaces.

The result was a lot of interesting and varied questions, especially around Empirix’s capabilities. Empirix can extract customer data from the network and correlate it to customer-specific transactions from the evolved packet core (EPC) through to the IP multimedia subsystem (IMS). It can then enrich those transactions with unique customer data such as cell location and device type and then aggregate and process the transactions to derive key performance indicators (KPIs) on VoLTE service which can be used to evaluate the customer’s actual quality of experience (QoE). Empirix is currently doing all this in tier-1 MSPs around the world.

Looking at the other key topics presented during the event, it is easy to see why the customer experience and related QoE attracted so much attention. Most of the other sessions were around the benefits that VoLTE brings to the MSPs themselves, specifically around re-farming existing spectrum as well as improved IP network efficiency and management. What VoLTE actually means to the customer was also discussed, but that conversation focused more on the theoretical merits of what high definition (HD) voice delivers—specifically, around improved service availability and quality.

To date, it appears most of the MSPs that have deployed VoLTE have relied on active testing to effectively “spot check” the end-to-end service improvements and overall performance. Very little appears to have been done to look at overall QoE across the entire customer base. Again, this is something that Empirix is currently pioneering; with the help of several tier-1 MSPs, we’re working to develop a class-leading VoLTE customer experience solution. If you would like to learn more about Empirix and our solution capabilities, please visit us at www.empirix.com.

Written by Graham Kunz – Graham on Twitter | Posts by Graham
Graham is Empirix’s European Service Assurance Expert and he’s worked in the tech industry for nearly twenty years. More than 14 years of that time has been in Service Assurance, working with wireless customers and internal teams to understand and capture product requirements, as well as develop and introduce products. His global outlook, wireless technology knowledge and technical know-how provide him with an excellent perspective on the current and future direction of mobility and the wireless industry.