Vodafone partners with Ericsson to launch commercial virtual network in Egypt

Having selected Ericsson as its Network Function Virtualization partner, Vodafone Egypt has gone live with the first commercial virtual network function in the Middle East. Since October 2016, Ericsson’s virtual Serving GPRS Support Node – Mobility Management Entity (SGSN-MME) has been serving and managing commercial mobile broadband traffic on the Vodafone Egypt network.

The Ericsson virtual SGSN-MME supports multi-access technologies such as GSM, WCDMA and LTE, and interworks with Wi-Fi. It provides full feature parity, and is agnostic to the underlying cloud system with support for both Open stack and VMware. Based on the leading Ericsson pooling concept, Vodafone Egypt network runs using a combination of virtual and native SGSN/MME in the same pool, supporting efficient capacity expansion.

Osama Said, Vodafone Egypt Technology Director, said: “We are happy to be working with Ericsson to take forward steps towards our Network Function Virtualization. The virtualization technology will enhance the speed and efficiency of services we provide to our customers. which will in turn support our main goal to reach customer satisfaction. We are excited to continue working on this Core Network Technology Evolution with the support of Ericsson.”

Ericsson has unparalleled experience in the deployment and operation of commercial LTE/EPC networks, having built and operated more than 300 networks worldwide that include either a native or virtual SGSN-MME. This technology is continuously evolving to incorporate new functionalities, creating new business opportunities for operators and reducing costs.

Rafiah Ibrahim, Head of Region Middle East and East Africa at Ericsson, said: “Utilizing the virtual SGSN technology will be the first step in Vodafone Egypt’s journey towards virtualization and cloud transformation. Operators are looking for ways to increase capacity and achieve efficiencies; today’s agreement will enable Vodafone Egypt to achieve these goals.”

Building on proven software and functionality, the Ericsson SGSN-MME extends network capabilities to meet even the most aggressive traffic growth predictions. It provides superior scalability and capacity so that operators can optimize their operations and manage the increasing volume of traffic from mobile broadband.

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