Nokia Siemens Networks Helps Vodacom Introduce Voice & SMS alongside LTE in South Africa
• Vodacom becomes 1st operator in Africa to combine voice with LTE services
• Nokia Siemens Networks integrates Liquid Core LTE (4G) service continuity to enable fallback to GSM or 3G network for voice services, completes integration in 4 weeks
Johannesburg, South Africa – Vodacom South Africa’s 4G users can now enjoy voice calls and text messaging (SMS) along with their 4G service. To provide this service continuity, the operator has selected Nokia Siemens Networks’ Liquid Core* to enable circuit switched fall-back (CSFB)** functionality in its LTE network. This functionality allows 4G users to make and receive voice calls using either the GSM or 3G network while retaining the benefit of ultra-fast data services via LTE.
Nokia Siemens Networks has also provided Vodacom with its single radio access network (RAN)*** based on its award-winning, energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio Base Station. The company will also deliver planning, implementation, optimization and support services for the network.
“We wanted to ensure that our customers get a unified service by being able to access both mobile voice and SMS services alongside 4G/LTE data services,” said Andries Steenkamp, managing executive, core network engineering at Vodacom South Africa. “Nokia Siemens Networks has surely given us a head-start over competition by providing a solution that meets our requirements. The fact that it was deployed in record time gave us an edge over others in the market.”
Under the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks has provided Vodacom South Africa with its Liquid Core architecture, based on its market-leading mobile soft switch (MSS) with CSFB. Once added to the MSS, the CFSB functionality allows the operator to reuse existing GSM and 3G investments to provide a unified voice and SMS service for people using its 4G service. The whole system is monitored, managed and optimized by NetAct, Nokia Siemens Networks’ network management system.
In addition, Nokia Siemens Networks has also provided services for access network planning and data fill for overlay MSS. This includes spare part management, emergency support, troubleshooting and training services.
“We are committed to helping Vodacom South Africa proactively address the demands of a fast evolving LTE ecosystem”, said Paul Divall, head of the Vodacom South Africa customer team at Nokia Siemens Networks. “The CSFB functionality was integrated into the operator’s live network with optimized call set-up times and bought it into commercial operation within a time span of four weeks. This achievement further strengthens our business relationship and paves the way for greater opportunities in the future”.
With its comprehensive mobile broadband and services portfolio, Nokia Siemens Networks is a leading supplier of CSFB core capability. The company has delivered CSFB to 30 customers across the globe.
About Vodacom South Africa
Vodacom is an African mobile communications company providing voice, messaging, data and converged services to over 45 million customers. From our roots in South Africa, we have grown our operations to include networks in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo (‘DRC’), Mozambique and Lesotho. We also provide carrier and business services to customers in over 70 countries.
Vodacom is majority owned by Vodafone, one of the world’s largest mobile communications companies by revenue. We’re listed on the JSE Limited and our head office is in Johannesburg, South Africa.
About Nokia Siemens Networks
Nokia Siemens Networks is the world’s specialist in mobile broadband. From the first ever call on GSM, to the first call on LTE, we operate at the forefront of each generation of mobile technology. Our global experts invent the new capabilities our customers need in their networks. We provide the world’s most efficient mobile networks, the intelligence to maximize the value of those networks, and the services to make it all work seamlessly.
With headquarters in Espoo, Finland, we operate in over 150 countries and had net sales of over 14 billion euros in 2011. http://www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com
* Part of Nokia Siemens Networks’ Liquid Net, Liquid Core decouples hardware and software and adds intelligent software applications that enable the core network to adapt and optimize to meet the fluid needs of subscribers, the services they use and the operational state of the network itself.
Through core virtualization, any core software application can run on COTS ATCA and ultimately other generic multi-purpose hardware. Costs are reduced by re-using existing hardware. In addition, it is possible to reduce floor space by up to 80% and energy costs up to 65%, with future improvements expected. Furthermore, intelligent broadband management delivers the best customer experience at the lowest cost, end-to-end across all network domains.
To date, Liquid Core has been rolled out to 70operators. Nokia Siemens Networks has160 Open Core System customers worldwide with over 70 live core networks. And more than 280 operators serving 1.6 billion subscribers have selected the Nokia Siemens Networks MSS, which is now available on the Liquid Core Platform. Nokia Siemens Networks Open Core System won in the category of the ’Best LTE Core Network Product’ at LTE North America Awards 2011.
** Circuit Switched Fallback (CSFB) is considered as the preferred solution for early stages of LTE/EPC network deployment. From the user perspective, it minimizes call establishment delay and supports smooth handoffs. For operators, the solution allows them to make full use of their existing networks to protect investments. CSFB allows circuit switched voice terminations to be communicated to the end-user LTE device while it is still connected to an LTE network. The solution also allows voice call originations to be communicated through the LTE system, thus reducing capacity bottlenecks to legacy access networks.
***Nokia Siemens Networks’ Single RAN including the Flexi Multiradio Base Station provides a future-proof, easy and cost-efficient path to LTE in both FDD and TDD spectrum bands via a simple software upgrade. Besides the Single RAN that supports GSM, 3G, FDD-LTE and TD-LTE, the company’s LTE telecom infrastructure offering also features the Evolved Packet Core, including Flexi NS (Network Server) and Flexi NG (Network Gateway), transport solutions, network management system, Self Organizing Networks (SON), the award-winning Voice over LTE (VoLTE), provisioning and charging solutions as well as a range of professional services to plan, install, maintain and operate networks. For more information, follow this link.(http://www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/portfolio/products/mobile-broadband/long-term-evolution-lte/td-lte)
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