Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi)...what’s the big deal? For instance, I can already engage in VoWiFi with some VoIP clients that are downloaded to my phone. The difference is that the subscriber, who may still be actually using the carrier data network, is now from a certain perspective not using the carrier network because the individual is now interacting with some kind of over-the-top content (OTT) app.
From a carrier perspective, that’s not really acceptable as they are losing the main interface to the subscriber and becoming just a dumb pipe, which most of them don’t want to do since they’d lose significant ability to obtain additional revenue from the offering of value added services.
You are likely starting to hear today about “true” VoWiFi, which is built into the carrier network. There would be additional nodes placed in the network—for instance a trusted WiFi access gateway (TWAG)—in order to create a trusted voice path that would differentiate an untrusted path used by an OTT player.
Overall, the advantages of VoWiFi for the carrier include the ability to:
Extend coverage into hard to reach remote areas and into areas where they may not have a cellular license
Extend coverage in congested areas, such as in a stadium setting where 100,000 people may be located
Offload bandwidth intensive video traffic
“True” VoWiFi would also enable using the handset’s native dialer, use the same cellular phone number, enable seamless changeover from VoLTE to VoWiFi via automatic network discovery and authentication, and offer strong network security via the TWAG node.