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 energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio Base Station. The company will also deliver planning, implementation, optimisation and support services for the network.
Edge in the market
"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 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 optimised by NetAct, Nokia Siemens Networks' network management system.
Access network planning
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 optimised 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.
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