By Kingsley I. Ilechukwu
Nokia has announced that its CloudBand-based software products are powering Bharti Airtel’s (Airtel) Voice over LTE (VoLTE) network in India. The network supports over 110 million customers, making it the largest cloud-based VoLTE network in India and the largest Nokia-run VoLTE in the world.
The cloud-based VoLTE deployment allows Airtel to provide its mobile customers faster and more reliable, cost-efficient call connectivity. The solution, which has been deployed to cover all 22 telecom service areas in India, uses Commercial Off-the-Shelf IT hardware with cloud-based Virtual Network Functions (VNFs), which consumes much less power and space compared to the traditional 2G/3G Circuit Switched legacy core.
Nokia’s VoLTE solution enables Airtel to free up spectrum by ramping down its 3G network, allowing the operator to utilize the freed up spectrum to deploy 4G/LTE services for better speed and capacity.
As part of its cloudification strategy, Airtel will also deploy Nokia’s CloudBand Infrastructure Software with the aim to create new revenue opportunities for 5G and internet-connected devices. As a vendor-agnostic, multi-technology and multi-domain platform, CloudBand will enable Airtel to lay the foundation for 5G networks and deliver new digital services with greater ease, flexibility and agility and ensure a reliable and high-performing network for delivering improved customer experience.
CloudBand is an open, scalable, flexible platform that will allow Airtel to adapt network capacity in accordance with changing consumption patterns in real-time and in a cost-efficient manner.
Nokia multi-cloud management solutions with analytical capabilities will also simplify operations for Airtel and allow the operator to design a network architecture that suits its needs and deliver new capabilities across mobility, enterprise, and telemedia business lines for its customers.
CTO of Bharti Airtel, Randeep Sekhon said: “We are delighted to deepen our strategic partnership with Nokia to build a future ready and agile network. The country’s largest open cloud based VoLTE network is a major milestone in Airtel’s journey. Our objective is to reap the benefits of cloud solutions to simplify our architecture and enable faster delivery of innovative services, ultimately delivering an enhanced customer experience.”
President of Nokia Software and Nokia Chief Digital Officer, Bhaskar Gorti said: “Nokia is very pleased to expand our partnership and support Airtel’s digital transformation journey. Nokia’s carrier-grade cloud software solutions drive simplicity and flexibility and will further strengthen Airtel’s solid 5G network foundation and transition to innovative digital solutions that are customer and experience centric.”