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4G Mobile Networks are today a reality. More and more smartphones, tablets and USB dongles are supporting the new 4G radio networks. Next steps in the Mobile Network evolution are towards the 3GPP Rel.10, commonly referred as
LTE-Advanced. Voice services on the other side are still using the old 3G network infrastructure. Introduction of rich voice communication services on the 4G mobile networks (VoLTE) is also upcoming.
LTE-Advanced focuses on increasing the Mobile Network capacity, providing higher bit rates in a cost efficient way. The main functionalities introduced are the Carrier Aggregation, enhanced use of multiple-antenna systems and the support of Relay Nodes. Carrier Aggregation combines multiple carrier frequencies at the device to increase the user rates in the covered cell area and enhancing the efficiency of the spectrum usage. This can help Mobile Network operator to address high demand smartphone applications as well as increased use of Social Media applications, instant messaging and others. Advanced multi-antenna technologies like MIMO, allows to transmit different data streams using different antennas, with many possible combination schemes, thus providing overall increased bit rate. Relay Nodes are low power base stations that can provide enhanced coverage and capacity at cell edges and hot-spot areas, and can also be used to connect to remote areas without fibre connection.
Voice over LTE enables rich communication voice services over the LTE network infrastructure, completing in this way the evolution from the legacy circuit switched network to the new 4G packet based architecture. Major technical challenges arise to integrate LTE-based voice calls with 2G/3G networks achieving the service continuity. Different interim solutions, such as cs-fallback, have been proposed and adopted over time. VoLTE can enable not only standard and SMS services on LTE, but can also introduce new rich-media communications services, such as video- and presence-based communication, messaging, collaboration, and conferencing.
Reply provides high-value specialized consulting services on LTE, LTE-A and VoLTE topics, such as CS-Fallback, interworking with 3G and 2G legacy infrastructures, integration of LTE EPC and IMS core.
Reply collaborates with primary Telco Service Providers in the design, deployment and operations of their 4G Core network infrastructures and is also engaged by Telco Service Providers to support the evolution of their EPC and IMS infrastructures towards a virtualized, Cloud-based approach.