A San Francisco-based market research firm said Monday that global market revenues for Evolved Packet Core (EPC) sales hit a record high level in 2017, with Swedish telecom giant Ericsson ranking the top for the seventh year.
The EPC is a more advanced way of communication than previous generations of telecom technology, providing converged voice and data on a 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network.
Dell'Oro Group, an U.S. market information and IT analysis company headquartered in Redwood City in northern California, said in its latest report that Ericsson maintained the top market ranking in the sales of the EPC service last year over its rivals, China's top telecom manufacturer Huawei, and Nokia, a Finnish multinational telecom company that was founded in 1865.
"Fourth quarter 2017 resulted in the largest quarter in history for EPC market sales," said David Bolan, senior analyst at Dell' Oro Group.
A 2G and 3G network architectures process and switch voice and data through two separate sub-domains: circuit-switched for voice and packet-switched for data.
In contrast, the EPC unifies voice and data on an Internet Protocol (IP) service architecture, where voice is treated as just another IP application.
The new technology allows operators to deploy and operate one packet network for 2G, 3G, WLAN, WiMAX, LTE and fixed access (Ethernet, DSL, cable and fiber).
The EPC market will hit another all-time high in 2018 as operators have to add new capacity to handle data growth with the advent of more unlimited data plans around the world, he said.
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is becoming a standard service offering -- as opposed to a premium service in Europe, where new capacity for telecommunications is required, according to the senior analyst.
He predicted that service providers in China, Japan, South Korea, and the Nordic countries will join North America in preparing their EPC for 5G Non-standalone launches in 2019.