VoLTE revenue declined nine percent quarter-over-quarter in 2Q 2018, according to a recently published report from Dell’Oro Group. Nokia, Huawei, and Ericsson accounted for over 70 percent of the VoLTE market.
“With end-to-end solutions, Nokia, Huawei, and Ericsson grew quarter-over-quarter increasing their combined market share and leaving little room for other vendors,” stated David Bolan, Senior Analyst at Dell’Oro Group. “The VoLTE market would have increased quarter-over-quarter in 2Q 2018 if the US ban on ZTE had not been in effect. For 2018 the market is expected to be slightly below 2017, but will return to growth in 2019,” said Bolan.
The fundamentals of the VoLTE market are still positive and the penetration rate of VoLTE continues to grow. In mature LTE markets, some carriers are beginning to approach a 100 percent VoLTE subscription rate. Verizon, for example will reach this point when they turn off their CDMA network at the end of 2019. In low cost markets dominated by pre-paid customers with feature phones, VoLTE phones had been financially out of the reach of subscribers. But this is changing quickly, as Reliance Jio has demonstrated in India, with their introduction earlier this year of a low cost VoLTE feature-phone targeting the low cost pre-paid market.