Quortus has added Voice over LTE (VoLTE) capabilities to its ECX Enterprise product. ECX Enterprise moves intelligence to the network edge, allowing operators to offer integrated 4G, 3G and 2G voice and data services tailored to the business market.
The new enhancements allow Quortus customers to implement IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) locally at the network edge. This enables offload and PBX integration for VoLTE without the need for a costly and complex central IMS implementation.
Leveraging the standard SIP protocol, this local, virtualised IMS can be integrated with local or hosted IP-PBX enterprise voice servers. Mobile devices can therefore appear as local extensions on the PBX, becoming an integral part of the enterprise voice network while retaining their macro network identity.
“Voice remains a must-have service for businesses, and has been identified as the ‘killer app’ for small cells in the enterprise,” said Andy Odgers, CEO, Quortus. “As businesses have moved towards mobile-first as their default mode of communications, and the mobile industry has moved to 4G, VoLTE has become the ‘elephant in the room’.
“What we are showing today is that there’s no longer any reason to fear VoLTE: it has come home in a straightforward and easily-implemented way to a market where voice, and the quality of it, is still crucially important – the enterprise.”
The addition of LTE capabilities enables new service concepts such as innovations that provide a small-footprint, all-IP mobile broadband mobility solution suited to enterprises, delivering carrier-grade infrastructure at an enterprise price point, in a form factor that can scale from the data centre to the small server room and vehicle-based platforms.
Enabled by Quortus’s EdgeCentrix network function virtualisation (NFV) technology, the VoLTE functionality within ECX Enterprise offers the user all of the ease-of-use features they expect from standard cellular connectivity.
For example, there is no need to download and install an SIP client on the handset, so the user retains their mobile number for identification, and native use of the handset dialer. Because ECX Enterprise already supports GSM and 3G, this consistent user experience can be extended across networks that employ all three technologies including hand-off and full mobility.
In addition to voice, ECX Enterprise also allows offload of data traffic. IP data sessions initiated by a mobile device may be placed directly onto the on-site enterprise LAN, giving the user direct IP access to the business intranet.
For network operators and service providers, these combined voice and data capabilities not only constitute a value added service that enhances revenue and decreases churn, but also offload significant volumes of voice, data and signalling traffic from the core network.
It enables service providers to offer hosted VoLTE offload/PBX integration services and facilitates the creation of a neutral host layer within a large organisation, which can then be used to interconnect with multiple MNOs. Because the system is entirely radio agnostic, ECX Enterprise can integrate not only 4G, 3G and GSM RAN connections, but also Wi-Fi and other radio systems if required.
ECX Enterprise includes two key software products, in alignment with the Small Cell Forum's Release Two – Enterprise, and performing the functions of the Enterprise Small Cell Concentrator (ESCC) and Enterprise Small Cell Gateway (ESCG).
These can run embedded in customer premises equipment (CPE) or as a hosted solution to aggregate multiple small cell access points with local voice and data breakout capabilities. Onsite traffic can be handled locally, as can cell-to-cell handover, significantly reducing the signalling load on the core network.
VoLTE support within ECX Enterprise is available immediately.