Vodafone Buys Ericsson Equipment to Replace 5-Year-Old Network Technologies

By @ibtimesau on
A man and two passengers ride on a scooter past a shop displaying the Vodafone logo on its shutter in Jammu
A man and two passengers ride on a scooter past a shop displaying the Vodafone logo on its shutter in Jammu. Reuters Reuters

Vodafone Hutchison Australia will buy from Ericsson millions of dollars worth of equipment as the giant telco builds a new core network as it moves toward the creation of the country's newest mobile service.

The network would include Ericsson's Evolved Packet Core and IP Multimedia Subsystem, policy control and circuit-switched core. These latest core technologies would further enhance Vodafone network's robustness, performance and resiliency.

The new service would replace Vodafone's patchwork network that was the result of its merger with Hutchison 3G Australia in 2009. The patchwork was the reason behind the cancellation of contracts by thousands of Vodafone customers in 2010 due to outages caused by inability to handle the volume of data requirements of new clients.

Inaki Berroeta, chief executive of Vodafone Australia, said, "There are significant changes [needed] for the core now because of LTE and we're working on switches that can provide Voice over LTE (VoLTE) as well."

Using VoLTE would allow calls done over 4G networks at a lower cost and using also lesser spectrum. It would likewise improve customer experience because it would make available HD voice calling, plus users could also access voice and data services at the same time over LTE, but data connectivity speeds would not be compromised.

Under a 5-year agreement, Vodafone and Ericsson promised customers their core network would be fully virtualised.

Benpoit Hanssen, chief technology officer of Vodafone, explained, "Our choice of Ericsson's technology and service is an essential part of VHA's program to increase our network performance and customer satisfaction."

The Vodafone-Ericsson partnership isn't just in Australia. A week ago, the two tech giants also inked a 5-year deal for the Swedish firm to upgrade Vodafone India's network, which would manage pre-paid charging system for the telco's almost 75 million customers in India.

It would enhance the user experience of Vodafone India customers by providing a self-service functionality in the telco's customer base with the installation of new Charging Systems in circles in Uttar Pradesh West and East, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Ericsson has the existing contract for Mumbai's and Maharashtra's circles.

The upgrade by Ericsson of Vodafone's network in two countries is an indicator of the growing demand for data caused by the fast-paced growth in usage of smartphone and tablets to connect to the Internet.

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