Skype for Business, Google Hangouts, various other so-called Over the Top providers, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon - they all offer VoWiFi. And it is expected that VoWiFi minutes are going to surpass VoLTE by 2019. So if you are a provider of value-added services to the mobile providers, VoWiFi support needs to become part of your offering.
There are many implications and technical hurdles to overcome to make this happen. And I have written multiple times about this in 2016. One implication I have not written about yet is the impact on Value-Added Services. Let’s take a basic Value-Added Service like voicemail as an example. If you are a voicemail provider, you’ll need to make sure your voicemail system handles the proper HD voice codecs used in VoWiFi voicemail. And if you want to offer VoWiFi voicemail, you likely need to upgrade your system to handle this.
Conferencing is another example. Yes, codecs will be important there too, but a conference call with a VoWiFi client may cause issues for everyone on the call because of potentially poor performance and bandwidth. So a “smart” way via analytics to handle a poor subscriber may be necessary.
Ultimately though, VoWiFi will likely also offer value-added services above and beyond the traditional ones I’ve written about above. We all use WiFi, and we all use video when using WiFi (just look around the next time you are hanging out in a Starbucks or similar place). So it’s likely video will be involved in future WiFi Value-Added Services. When a video call is involved, video calling via a mix of a MCU and SFU (more on that in a couple weeks!) architecture may be the best approach.
We also all use social media apps. It is likely voice will be part of (not central to) these social media apps – giving users a choice to call.
These apps will also most likely be offered in the cloud, or as part of an overall NFV solution. Utilizing a modern software based media server to provide the underlying codec support, call functions, and scalability will be essential. Dialogic is happy to help.