Voice communication is an essential part of the service providers offers. When 5G Core is deployed, voice is leveraged using the 5G Core functions and IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem), while the 5G use cases are delivered by the NR(New Radio) and the 5G Core. Voice services will depend on the presence of an IMS Core network regardless of the deployment path. 5G will enable a wide range of truly novel applications where voice will play an important role. Voice is an important key component of the 5G services.
5G comes with unique characteristics to deliver responses at a minimal time i.e less than 1msec, and quick exchange of data signals which results in improved signal and picture quality. VoNR 5G is a calling service that utilizes 5G SA (Stand-Alone) Architecture for voice processing whereas ViNR 5G is a video service built on 5G SA to enable customers with the high-resolution video quality. Globally, operators are using SA Architecture that is considered as the primary network for future 5G networks. Efforts are being built and designed to configure and upgrade VoNR and ViNR video qualities.
VoNR is the IMS-based calling service that uses the 5G network for its source of IP (Internet Protocol) voice processing.
Types of voice services available over 5G mobile networks:
- Carrier-Grade Voice service: it has strict QoS support and does not belong to the public Internet Voice over New Radio (VoNR) or Vo5G.
- OTT voice services: it will continue to exist in 5G networks and they will continue to be provided through mobile internet access.
Each operator has a unique set of the allocated spectrum and its own deployment strategy. VoNR features can be different to meet the operator’s call quality, voice coverage, service continuity, mobility, call setup delay, call success rates, etc. VoLTE and VoNR use the same IMS network for voice calls. Technological improvements in New Radio, 5GC, and 5G devices are expected to provide a superior user experience in VoNR compared to VoLTE. EPS Fallback (E-UTRAN connected to EPC) and RAT(E-UTRAN connected to 5GC) are two deployment scenarios that support redirection or handover to E-UTRAN during the call set-up phase. The EPS FB mechanism will use the existing IMS Core and EPS for delivering voice or video services. 3GPP also supports several interworking options with the Evolved Packet Core. Network Operators should consider the impact to voice services while finalizing the interworking mode with EPC.
Development of 5G networks with Voice over technology
Voice services play an important role in wireless communications. The 5G network has opened a new path for voice-over New Radio, VoNR on 5G networks brings new opportunities to upgrade call quality, it can cut down the OPEX costs for mobile operators and can accelerate the migration of the network technology. Operators can validate VoNR on a 5G network with tools that can auto-call software enabled to test hundreds of numbers or voice hundreds of test calls in very little time. While transitioning 5G from Non-Standalone (NSA) to standalone (SA), wireless operators will utilize EPSFB (Evolved Packet System Fallback) temporarily to develop VoNR solutions. On the maturity of the SA Architecture of 5G, NSA and SA will be synchronized in the network operator’s network in order to ensure that voice services over NR function properly.
Deploying Vo5G/VoNR requires updates to the old IMS interfaces allowing the implementation of core components into the 5G Service-based Architecture (SBA).
Benefits of VoNR and ViNR
- Next-generation apps and services will have Vo5G as the main component which will enable users with good calling and video experiences.
- Performing 5G network testing is the key to improve overall voice/video user experiences.
- 5G packet core is the key enabler for VoNR 5G that uses a cloud-native approach supporting network slicing and it provides lower latency.
- It enables opportunities for various device manufacturers to make devices like smartphones etc that supports AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), telerobotics, etc.