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Ericsson and Vodafone Bring NFV-Based VoLTE to the Netherlands

By Rory Lidstone March 11, 2016

A recent survey found that most mobile operators agree VoLTE is coming this year and it seems Ericsson and Vodafone Netherlands are doing what they can to make this a reality. The two companies recently deployed the first cloud-based and fully virtualized VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling solution in the Netherlands.

While all the talk lately seems to be about voice over LTE itself, Wi-Fi calling is an important complementary technology as it enables operator voice services to be accessible in more locations, like indoor environments and basements. VoLTE, meanwhile, offers fast call setup times and HD voice quality, all while facilitating a broader range of IP-based communication capabilities such as video calling over LTE and multi-device support.

As such, Vodafone Netherlands can now provider a superior experience to its subscribers that use video communication services over similar services delivered over the internet.

Considering Ericsson’s network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) efforts lately—look no further than the recently released Router 8801 for evidence of this—it isn’t surprising to see NFV playing a roll in this VoLTE deployment. The solution VoLTE deployed here is based on a commercial NFV deployment of Ericsson IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and Ericsson Evolved Packet Core (EPC). This complete cloud-based solution also includes virtual network functions (VNFs) for Wi-Fi calling, policy control and application server domain.

In addition, this unique end-to-end VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling overlay network includes VNFs for the Ericsson IP Multimedia Subsystem with Ericsson Multimedia Telephony Application Server, Ericsson Call Session Control Function, Ericsson Evolved Packet Core with Ericsson Evolved Packet Gateway, and Ericsson Wi-Fi Mobility Gateway, along with other Ericsson control and authentication functions.

“Network virtualization brings huge opportunities for efficiency and agility,” said Matthias Sauder, head of Networks at Vodafone Netherlands. “It will allow us to introduce new services more rapidly to our subscribers. We are very pleased with Ericsson's support in deploying NFV in our network in the Netherlands, which will now enable swift launches of new IP-based communication services for our customers.”

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Contributing Writer

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