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5G voice users forecast to reach billions

JOHANNESBURG – THE number of fifth-generation technology (5G) voice users is projected to rise by over 780 percent to 2,5 billion globally by 2026.

Acceleration of 5G rollouts, following a slowing during the pandemic, will accelerate the growth, according to a new study by Juniper Research.

It forecast the numbers to rise from 290 million in 2022.

The new research, Mobile Voice Strategies: Future Monetisation Opportunities & Market Forecasts 2022-2026, urges operators to capitalise on growth of voice-over-5G users to create a new portfolio of voice services.

It recommends operators prioritise interactive calling, intelligent call routing, and integration of AI-based IVR (Interactive Voice Services) as these provide the most immediate return on investment of voice-over-5G.

The report particularly identified interactive calling as a key opportunity for operators who have launched 5G to provide more valuable voice services and compete with OTT voice apps.

Interactive calling leverages 5G networks to offer advanced voice calling functionality, including interactive content and screensharing, directly in the native calling app on smartphones, thus negating the need for third-party applications.

Current 4G voice technology, VoLTE (Voice-over-LTE), is seen as insufficient to support interactive calling.

There are currently over 4,4 billion VoLTE users.

This represents over 50 percent of subscribers, the lower speed of 4G networks in comparison to 5G networks has thus far restricted the use of interactive features or AI in operators’ voice services.

– CAJ News

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