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LTE needs VoLGA

in Blog, LTE, LteWorld, VoLGA

July 7, 2009 | LteWorld - LTE (Long Term Evolution) is a data only technology but it seems that we can not live without voice or SMS services.  VoLGA forum  claims that VoLGA specifications fill this gap. A number of telecom companies (including Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei) are showing interest in VoLGA and are part of  VoLGA forum.

According VoLGA stage 1 specification, The aim of VoLGA is to make traditional GSM/UMTS circuit switched (CS) services available to UEs accessing the EPS network via E-UTRAN.

The lack of native SMS over LTE support is a show-stopper for LTE dongle service.  Mobile operators rely on SMS for back office customer care, provisioning and management of HSPA-dongle services.  Clearly those systems need to be available to an LTE-based terminal service at launch.

For Voice calls LTE based UEs may have to wait for IMS rollout and LTE may remain  data only service for longer time. VoLGA claims to fill this GAP.

The VoLGA service resembles the 3GPP Generic Access Network (GAN). GAN provides a controller node - the GAN controller (GANC) - inserted between the IP access network (i.e., the EPS) and the 3GPP core network. The GAN provides an overlay access between the terminal and the CS core without requiring specific enhancements or support in the network it traverses. This provides a terminal with a 'virtual' connection to the core network already deployed by an operator. The terminal and network thus reuse most of the existing mechanisms, deployment and operational aspects.

GAN services and goals are reused in VoLGA wherever beneficial, and no re-invention of existing functionality shall occur.

To know more about GAN read Know about UMA/GAN.

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Nice Blog

Agree with author that LTEi may need VoLGA but just wondering how 3GPPi does not foresee this need while planning LTE.