#1 – LTE uptake
Lack of carrier grade voice support will prevent the major breakthrough of LTE
In spite of the fact that data is the ‘hot topic’ in mobile today, and it’s clearly a driver for LTE deployments, voice is still essential to the mass take-up of a network technology. LTE networks cannot yet support carrier grade voice and this is the main reason for a continued slow take-up of LTE in 2012. Instead, a technically inferior solution has to be relied upon – circuit switch fall back, or CSFB.
It will be mid 2013 or later before VoLTE – a high quality voice solution on LTE – is in place, and this requires continued development of technical specifications and a considerable increase in the coverage reach of LTE networks.
Operators face a Catch 22 situation: greater coverage is needed to offer voice, yet voice is a key driver for increased network investment and take-up. The LTE journey is going to be thrilling, but there are obstacles to overcome before true mass adoption.