New Delhi: 5G voice users will reach 2.5 billion globally by 2026, increasing from only 290 million in 2022, a new report showed on Wednesday.
The growth of 780 per cent will be driven by acceleration of 5G roll-outs following a slowing down during the pandemic, reports Juniper Research.
The report 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 screen-sharing, directly in the native calling app on smartphones, thus negating the need for third-party applications.
The research urged telecom network operators to capitalise on growth of Voice-over-5G users to create a new portfolio of voice services.
It recommended 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.
Current 4G voice technology, VoLTE (Voice-over-LTE), is not sufficient to support interactive calling.
While there are currently over 4.4 billion VoLTE users, representing over 50 per cent 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, the report noted.