The network evolution is going through two major shifts in recent times. While the voice services are going over IP, networks are moving to the cloud. VoLTE or Voice over LTE has now become mainstream. VoLTE services allow an enterprise to deliver a better customer experience with a modernized voice service. In addition to SMS and voice calls, VoLTE enables you to deliver high-quality video communication while extending calls to multiple devices with seamless collaboration across a wide range of devices such as laptops, tablets, IoT devices, TVs etc. According to Mordor Intelligence, the VoLTE market earned a revenue of $3.7 billion in 2020. This value is expected to touch $133.57 billion growing at a CAGR of 56.57% between 2021 and 2026.
While VoLTE is revolutionizing the communication segment, service providers are not able to fully leverage this technology owing to legacy PCRF systems. Upgrading the PCRF system is the need of the hour.
An Overview of PCRF
Policy Control and Rules Function (PCRF) is a critical component of a Low-Term Evolution (LTE) network that offers a dynamic control policy to charge mobile subscribers on a per-IP flow and per-subscriber flow basis. It brings the capabilities of earlier 3GPP releases while enhancing them to provide QoS authorization for treating different data flows, ensuring that it is in accordance with user subscription profiles.
The need for VoLTE-enabled PCRF
The majority of service providers are battling with legacy PCRFs that struggle to handle the high scalability, performance and reliability requirements of VoLTE services. When organizations see a new business opportunity, they are not able to tap it owing to BSS policy management challenges. They have to either integrate the new policy management with the legacy system or extend the legacy system to support the new policy. Another option is to manage two PCRFs which is more practical and cost-effective. However, separating subscription traffic is the biggest challenge here. This is why many businesses are not able to tap new opportunities but increase customer churn and revenue losses.
Here are some of the reasons why VoLTE-enabled PCRF is the need of the hour.
Differentiated Voice Service and Support
VoLTE services open up new business opportunities for organizations. For instance, service providers can deliver communication services in a tiered model wherein premium services are charged more. At the same time, you can deliver premium calls with higher quality along with dedicated bearer support. Your PCRF should be robust enough to different call sessions and ensure dedicated voice support for premium subscriptions while being able to monitor and manage separate charges.
Alternate Voice Support
When the customer loses LTE coverage, the call should be routed to alternate voice support via a fall-back mechanism using Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) and Circuit Switch Fallback (CSFB) methods. Legacy PCRF systems are not efficient enough to support both these methods.
Along with quality voice services, the communications service provider should ensure that safety regulatory measures are adhered to and prioritized as well. For instance, when customers make an emergency call, the PCRF should identify the subscriber location and override current subscription plans to offer QoS prioritization. A modern PCRF will help you do so.
Real-time Policy and Charge Management
With a variety of monetization opportunities available for enterprises, policy control along with a real-time subscription monitoring system is the need of the hour. While a VoLTE session is running, businesses can sell another video streaming product or upgrade the subscription for a temporary period. The PCRF should be able to monitor changes in plans in real-time for policy control and charges management.
As the communication segment is going through the VoLTE revolution, it is important for businesses to ensure that the PCRF is VoLTE-enabled. Failing to do so will keep your business out of competition within a quick time.
CloudTern is a leading provider of communications solutions. Contact us right now to transform your legacy PCRF systems into robust VoLTE-enabled PCRF solutions!