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Chennai, NFAPost: Nokia has said that its CloudBand-based software products are powering Bharti Airtel’s 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 utilise 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, said Nokia.

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.

Nokia’s CloudBand portfolio will help one address:

  • Openness and universal applicability is now a requirement to stay on top when competing with traditional and web-scale service providers. With IT and Telco requirements blurring, it is important to keep options open with investment choices that, like Nokia’s CloudBand, support hybrid infrastructure, are open for multi-vendor and can meet the challenges of cloud-native architecture.
  • Serviceability and operability becomes a criterion of choice to accommodate the service requirement of real time workloads trending to zero latency. CloudBand uses the latest from centralised, upstream opensource channel. With zero downtime optimised upgrade procedures from the MANO, the network is ready to be serviced continuously.
  • Security, which has always been a key priority for infrastructure and services becomes still more important as the scope of services goes broader – Think IOT or 5G network slicing for instance. Designed bottom up for security and system hardening, and fully compliant with ANSSI, GDPR, NSA and additional country-specific security protocols, the CloudBand portfolio contributes to one’s secure offer.

Bharti Airtel CTO 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.”

Nokia’s communications service provider customers support more than 6.4 billion subscriptions with the company’s radio networks, and its enterprise customers have deployed over 1,300 industrial networks worldwide.

Nokia Software and Nokia Chief Digital Officer President 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.”  

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