Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Vodafone Egypt Teams with Ericsson to Launch Commercial VNF

Vodafone Egypt, which serves nearly 40 million customers in Egypt, has launched what is believed to be the first commercial virtual network function in the Middle East region.

Ericsson stated that since October 2016, its virtual Serving GPRS Support Node - Mobility Management Entity (SGSN-MME) has been serving and managing commercial mobile broadband traffic on the Vodafone Egypt network. Ericsson's virtual SGSN-MME supports multi-access technologies including GSM, WCDMA and LTE, and interworks with WiFi.

The Ericsson solution is designed to provide feature parity and is agnostic to the underlying cloud system, offering support for both OpenStack and VMware. Based on the Ericsson pooling concept, the Vodafone Egypt network operates using a combination of virtual and native SGSN/MME within the same pool and helps to support efficient capacity expansion via enhanced scalability and capacity, enabling operators to optimise their operations and address growth in mobile broadband traffic.

Recently, Ericsson and Cisco announced they had been selected to transform and virtualise Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA)'s networks, including evolving its core network to provide greater flexibility and programmability using network slicing.

In 2016, Ericsson in partnership with Cisco announced they had been chosen by Vodafone Portugal to implement a mobile backhaul evolution project. As part of the project, Ericsson was to deploy and integrate Cisco's Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 9000 product families to upgrade Vodafone Portugal's IP backhaul network.

Regarding the project, Osama Said, Vodafone Egypt Technology Director, commented, "Vodafone Egypt is working with Ericsson to take steps towards network function virtualisation… (which) will enhance the speed and efficiency of services provide to customers… and customer satisfaction".


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