Nokia Networks announced the Kuwait-first successful Voice over LTE (VoLTE) call using Zain’s commercial LTE network this wekk (26 June 2014).
For the live HD (high-definition) voice call and video capability, Nokia Networks used its VoLTE solution, and services expertise to successfully conduct the project which involved making and receiving HD voice calls with superior call setup times while simultaneously accessing ultra-fast data services over the LTE network.
The VoLTE solution consisted of its IMS (IP multimedia subsystem), subscriber data management, and open TAS (Telecommunications Application Server). Open TAS provides supplementary services that are applicable for voice, messaging, and video sessions for subscribers in LTE and other broadband networks.
Omar Saud Al Omar, CEO of Zain Kuwait, said: “Today’s VoLTE success with Nokia Networks’ solution is an important milestone in our planning for the future, which will translate into providing enhanced mobile broadband services to our customers across Kuwait, offering them an opportunity to enjoy unparalleled quality.”
“Our VoLTE technology enables better voice calls, faster data services and more efficient use of network resources. And since it enables network simplification, it even reduces operating costs for operators,” said Mohamad Diab, head of Zain Kuwait customer team, Nokia Networks. “With our VoLTE technology, Zain Kuwait will also be able to integrate network resources, optimise network and service management, and simplify service delivery by providing voice and data services on the same LTE network.”
RELOAD modernisation and expansion contract
Nokia Networks has also signed a large contract with Zain KSA to modernise and expand the operator’s network in a program called RELOAD.
To address the growing demand for high-speed and innovative data services in preparation for the Hajj pilgrimage in November, Nokia Networks will not only deploy its compact Single RAN Advanced to refarm part of Zain KSA’s 2G and 3G frequencies, but also its Flexi Zone small cells for ultra-fast 4G.
It will also provide its LTE Advanced services and NetAct for monitoring, managing and optimising Zain KSA’s 2G, 3G and 4G networks. Furthermore, Nokia’s new energy-saving Flexi compact base stations will be installed to reduce operating costs.
Nokia Networks will also deploy its Liquid Applications distributed cloud solution, which is enabled by its Radio Applications Cloud Server (RACS). This will provide Zain KSA with enhanced 4G throughput and backhauling savings, and will put it into a postion to deliver customised applications such as augmented reality and location-based services due to its exposure to real-time network data.
Hassan Kabbani, CEO of Zain KSA, said: “We want to reload our network infrastructure with the very latest of technologies in order to address the high demand for more interesting services. We are confident that Nokia’s unique technologies such as Liquid Applications will greatly improve customer experience and position Zain KSA as a technology leader in the Saudi market.”
Nokia Networks will also deploy its indoor building solution along with its advanced 4G small cells to enhance mobile broadband coverage for Zain KSA’s subscribers inside offices, malls, hotels and residential buildings.
In another MEA-first, Nokia Networks will refarm the existing 2100MHz spectrums, in addition to 1800MHz band, to enable Zain KSA to expand its LTE services offering. Since spectrum is a limited resource, refarming will provide huge cost benefits for Zain when launching LTE services.
Nokia will also provide carrier aggregation capabilites, combining both the existing spectrum bands of 1800MHz and 2100MHz to increase the network capacity, speed and coverage for LTE services. This carrier aggregation of FDD-LTE spectrum bands is also another first for MEA region.
In addition, Nokia will provide its Global Services including network planning and optimisation, network implementation and system integration, competence development as well as hardware and software care to ensure smooth operations and high network quality.