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Nokia Networks

Voice over LTE (VoLTE)


Optimization
Contents

1. Introduction 3
2. VoIP Client Options 5
3. Radio Network Optimization 6
4. Voice Quality Optimization 11
5. Handset Power Consumption Optimization 17
6. Summary 19
7. Further Reading 19

Page 2 networks.nokia.com
1. Introduction
Mobile operator networks carry tens of billions of minutes of voice

in 2G and 3G technologies. Most LTE operators serve voice calls via

architecture.

multimedia services. The main reasons for adopting VoLTE are


summarized in Figure 1.

Migrate from dual radio CDMA + LTE devices


Provide faster call setup time
to LTE only devices

Take benet of low band LTE for


Enhance voice quality with wideband codec
extended coverage

Enable simultaneous voice and LTE data Improve spectral efficiency

Provide evolution from voice to rich next


generation IMS services Prepare evolution to LTE only deployments

Fig. 1. Motivations for VoLTE.

Page 3 networks.nokia.com
a number of aspects of VoLTE optimization in radio networks and in

power consumption. The white paper also compares VoLTE with CS

operator voice can be run over Wi-Fi radio. If evolved packet core is

handset support.

white paper.
The radio network optimization solutions are considered in this paper

on the optimization of handset power consumption. The contents


are summarized in Figure 2.

Radio network optimization

End user quality optimization

Terminal power consumption optimization

Fig. 2. Contents of this paper.

Page 4 networks.nokia.com
2. VoIP Client Options

interworking with legacy CS networks. The VoLTE client can also

for voice packet prioritization. It is also possible to have a non-native


VoLTE client from third parties which runs on top of the application

1. Native VoLTE client integrated in the handset chip set. The


number of commercial handsets with native VoLTE clients is
growing rapidly.
2. Non-native VoLTE clients. Third party applications which can

and Viber.

Page 5 networks.nokia.com
3. Radio Network Optimization
The success rate and the retainability of a VoLTE call must match and
exceed the level provided by CS connections. The key performance

rate and call completion success rate. Network optimization also aims at

The network optimization includes parameter optimization and feature

and 54% no activity. The throughput shows the impact of the codec bit

kbps with the codec rate of 23.85 kbps and 8.8 kbps with the codec rate
of 12.65 kbps.

using voice activity detection. The lower average throughput in this

of the Mean Opinion Score MOS. This same application with Enhanced

on the codec they used and the particular implementation of features


such as codec rate adaptation or voice activity detection.
45 42.8
40
35.8
35

30

25
kbps

20 17.3 17.6
15
10.2
10 8.3 8.8

0 Fig. 3. Measured throughput


SIP EFR SIP AMR OTT AP1 OTT AP2 OTT AP3 VoLTE VoLTE
WB 23.85 kbps 12.65 kbps

Page 6 networks.nokia.com
The throughput measurements shown in Figure 3 include full IP

header can be larger than the voice packet if header compression is

maximizing VoLTE capacity.

45 Header compression
40
35
Header size (byte)

30 Original header size


25 Uplink header size
Downlink header size
20
15
10
5
0

Page 7 networks.nokia.com
VoLTE uplink performance in the weak signal can be enhanced with TTI
bundling which allows the handset to repeat the same transmission
in four consecutive 1 ms TTIs. TTI bundling makes the uplink more

up substantial radio resources. TTI bundling is switched on only when


the handset hits the edge of the coverage area. TTI bundling runs
between the base station and the handset.

PUSCH BLER comparison


80.0
72.7
70.0

60.0
With TTI bundling
Without TTI bundling
50.0
BLER (in %)

40.0

30.0

20.0

9.0
10.0

0.0

Page 8 networks.nokia.com
in highly loaded cells. Figure 6 shows an example VoLTE call setup success
rate in a live network including tens of millions of VoLTE calls during the

excellent VoLTE availability can be achieved even in the loaded network.


The network carried tens of billions of packet calls at the same time.
Another important factor for VoLTE is reliable mobility. The handover
success rate can be optimized with RF planning and new features included

Optimization. This enables radio level connection re-establishment in the


event of handover failure.

VoLTE call setup success rate


100

98

96
(%)

94

92

90
Three-month period

Fig. 6. VoLTE call setup success rate.

Page 9 networks.nokia.com
can be handed over to a CS connection in a 3G or 2G network. This

leg change. The SRVCC probability also depends on the parameter

shows the probability of SRVCC in an example network. The SRVCC


probability is reduced by 7% to below 3% by network optimization.
More than a million SRVCC attempts are included in this graph.
SRVCC functionality is available for QCI1 connections but not for OTT

10%
Percentage of VoLTE Calls Using SRVCC
9%

8%

7%

6%

5%

4%

3%

2%

1%

0%
Three-month period
Fig. 7. Probability of VoLTE call using SRVCC.

Page 10 networks.nokia.com
4. Voice Quality Optimization

acoustics may limit the maximum bandwidth provided by the speech

26.131. The bandwidth is illustrated in Figure 8. The CS connections

AMR - NB AMR - WB
80 - 3700 Hz 50 - 7000 Hz

0.05 0.1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 kHz

Fig. 8. Audio bandwidth of narrowband and wideband AMR.

the performance of the telephone transmission system by listening

Page 11 networks.nokia.com
codec scored only slightly lower with 2.7. The same SIP client with an

this and other third party SIP clients could be increased to 3.4 or 3.6
by tweaking some optional functionality such as deactivating voice

transmit a constant data stream regardless of whether the speaker


was talking or silent. The OTT VoIP applications scored between 4.1

to the native VoLTE client.

That codec will make it possible for VoLTE to match and beat the voice

4.5

4.0
3.5

3.0
MOS

2.5

2.0
1.5

1.0
3G CS SIP EFR SIP OTT AP1 OTT AP2 OTT AP3 VoLTE
AMR-NB AMR-WB

Page 12 networks.nokia.com
OTT VoIP as a function of network loading. VoLTE uses QoS Class

OTT VoIP decreases as a function of loading. The OTT VoIP call also

OTT VoIP-Good OTT VoIP-Bad VoLTE-Good VoLTE-Bad

4.5

4.0
3.5

3.0
MOS

2.5

2.0 OTT VoIP fails


1.5 to work

1.0
2 21 192 382 762 1902
Effective number of non-GBR data users

Page 13 networks.nokia.com
Mouth-to-ear delay as a function of loading is shown in Figure 11.

the base station. The delay of OTT VoIP increases as a function of


simultaneous data loading in the cell.

OTT-Good OTT-Bad VoLTE-Good VoLTE-Bad

661
700
541

600

525
Mouth to Ear Delay (ms)

491
451

500
427
352
352

400
300

300

200 OTT VoIP fails


100 to work

0
2 21 192 382 762 1902
Effective non-GBR Load (users)

Page 14 networks.nokia.com
the call establishment time compared to the legacy CS systems. The
total time for call establishment depends on many factors such as
whether the handsets were initially in RRC Idle or RRC Connected
state when the call was originated and the latency experienced by the
signaling network. The laboratory measurements show a VoLTE call

depending on the operator network and transport architecture. The


corresponding typical CS call setup time is four seconds and with CS

Call setup time


7.0
6.0
6.0

5.0
3.8
4.0
Seconds

3.0
2.4 2.2
2.0
0.9
1.0

0.0
idle - idle idle - idle connected - 3G idle - CSFB - CSFB
(eld) connected idle
VoLTE CS voice

Fig. 12. Call setup time measurements.

Page 15 networks.nokia.com
strategy for incoming VoLTE calls. VoLTE paging logic is executed in a

procedure by marking packets related to the incoming voice calls with

Figure 13 shows an example of paging response delay distribution. A


more aggressive timer value for paging a re-try timer could be applied

1000
Number of Samples

100

10

1
0

0.5

1.5

2.5

3.5

4.5

5.5

6.5

7.5

8.5

9.5

More
Delay between Paging and Service Request

Fig. 13. Paging response delay distribution in live network.

Page 16 networks.nokia.com
5. Handset Power Consumption
Optimization
users. It can be extended by using advanced features in the radio
network and by optimized handset design. The two main factors

The power optimization solutions are shown in Figure 14.

Handset architecture VoLTE integrated to the chip set


optimization Application processor can enter sleep mode

Radio features Discontinuous reception (DRX)


including DRX Modem activity from 100% to below 50%

Fig. 14. Mobile handset power saving solutions.

Page 17 networks.nokia.com
which however needs a lot of power. Power consumption can be
minimized by integrating a VoLTE client to the modem processor.

reception allows the use of power saving sleep mode even between

instantaneous handset power consumption during a VoLTE call when


the person is listening and not talking. The short power peaks happen

power consumption is considerably lower between the packets.

Current (mA)
600

500

400
Current (mA)

300

200

100

0
655.96
655.98
656
656.02
656.04
656.06
656.08
656.1
656.12
656.14
656.16
656.18
656.2
656.22
656.24
656.26
656.28
656.3
656.32
656.34
656.36
656.38
656.4
656.42
656.44
656.46
656.48
656.5
656.52

Time (s)

is shown in Figure 16. VoLTE power consumption can be reduced by

even slightly below the 125 mA measured on the same codec on 3G


CS using the same handset. The power consumption of the OTT VoIP
application is substantially higher at 248 mA.

Page 18 networks.nokia.com
300

250 235 248


-50%
200
Current (mA)

154
150 131
129 125 121
100

50

0
3G CS 3G CS noDRX DRX on with different settings OTT VoIP
AMR-NB AMR-WB

consumption for VoLTE than for OTT VoIP.

6. Summary

setup times. This paper illustrates that optimization of radio features


and parameters is needed to provide reliable VoLTE connections with
high success rates and low drop rates. The live network results show
that excellent key performance indicators can be obtained for VoLTE in
optimized networks.

Reliability is obtained by using QoS features in the radio network and

7. Further Reading

paper.pdf

Page 19 networks.nokia.com
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