‘Voice over 5G’ or Vo5G refers to the voice services accessed through the fifth generation of mobile technologies. Although data services drive 5G evolution, voice/video communication-based solutions, still account for a sizable portion of the telecom operator’s services. Apart from supporting the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, and AR/VR services, the rising adoption of 5G network is also expected to redefine the voice services architecture for telecommunications service providers and their customers.
Vo5G will help telecom service providers to provide their customers with substantially improved voice capabilities with extra features like ultra-High-Definition (HD)voice communications.
Evolution to VoNR, the need for voice solution at the initial stage of 5G commercialization, and accelerating VoLTE deployments are some of the major driving factors of the studied market.
According to the Ericsson Mobility Report November 2019, there are around 2.1 billion VoLTE subscriptions, presently, which are expected to reach 6.4 billion by 2025, accounting for over 85% of combined LTE and 5G subscriptions.
Although many industry experts claim that due to more flexible and free OTT services, the voice revenues for mobile operators are expected to decline over the next five years, however, establishing a 5G-enabled IP Multimedia Subsystem infrastructure for VoLTE will generate a new revenue streams for mobile operators, hence will create opportunity for the studied market.
With legacy networks shut down, circuit-switched voice networks are expected to be upgraded to all-IP core networks using voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology. Development in IoT enabled voice assistant products is facilitating the development of voice communications with 5G commercialization.
Key Market Trends IT & Telecommunication Sector is Gaining Traction During the Forecast Period
The rising adoption of 5G services and increasing commercial applications of 5G networks are some of the major market trends, which are also thriving in the studied market.
In 2019, Nokia made the world’s first commercially deployed cloud-based 5G radio access network live in North America.
In August 2017, Huawei signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Festo to jointly explore the 5G network application in the manufacturing industry and to promote the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry with 5G Slicing Technology. This MoU was mainly based on 5G Cloud Robotics to test the Robot as a Service (RaaS) concept, which is also a part of offering voice-based services in smart factories.
In August 2019, Samsung Electronics and SK Telecom demonstrated the use of 5G technology for enhancing live motor racing experiences, with the help of Samsung’s end-to-end 5G mmWave solutions, including 5G New Radio (NR) base stations. The same equipment is in commercial operation in the US since the first half of 2019. The companies used live video streaming capability to broadcast multiple views of the race in real-time over T Live Caster 5G, SK Telecom’s live broadcasting solution.
In May 2019, Samsung Electronics signed an expansion contract with KT Corporation to offer public safety (PS-LTE) network solutions based on 3GPP standard Release 13 for ten major metropolitan regions in South Korea, including Seoul by 2020.
Asia-Pacific is Expected to Register the Significant Growth Rate Over the Forecast Period
The Asia Pacific is one of the significant markets for Vo5G owing to the highly developing telecom sector and large customer base. Also, the region is increasingly investing in 5G market. Countries like China, India, Japan, Australia, Singapore, and South Korea are increasingly investing in the development of the domestic 5G market, which is also expected to drive the studied market in the region.
According to GSMA, China is set to become one of the world’s leading 5G markets over the next few years, with Chinese mobile operators expected to invest an additional USD 58 billion in 5G network rollouts, over the next two years.
The end-user applications of the 5G network are also increasing in the region, which is also expected to develop the space for the studied market. For instance, China Unicom, which is increasingly investing in 5G deployment, has made a strategic collaboration with Intel for the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022 with a focus on smart applications for the venue.
Large telecom markets, like India, are also emerging as the fastest-growing markets for M2M services. In February 2018, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) (India) issued a policy document that would outline guidelines to enable the introduction of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication services in India.
India-based Tech Mahindra is building 5G use cases with US-based hospitals to help manage remote surgeries that will require seamless network connectivity.
Competitive Landscape The voice-over-5G (Vo5G) market is moderately competitive. And, with the advancement in the 5G infrastructure, new players are also expected to enter the market.
In April 2019, a Spanish carrier, Orange Spain, and ZTE completed their voice and data call over a standalone 5G network in Europe with 5G New Radio base station, 5G core network and test devices, with speeds at 876 Mbps with a single user handset and 3.2 Gbps for 12 handsets, simultaneously. Furthermore, in May 2019, Huawei completed its voice over NR (VoNR) call, which was made using Huawei Mate 20X 5G phones, representing a 5G standalone (SA) network.
In December 2019, Ericsson realized the viability of standalone 5G, following the successful VoNR interoperability test along with MediaTek. The VoNR used solution from Ericsson and MediaTek’s commercial Dimensity 1000 chipset, deployed over a 3.5 GHz TDD band. Whereas, operators, like Verizon, stated their plan to gradually shift to Standalone (SA NR) mode where 4G core infrastructure reliance is absent, by 2020.
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