India-based Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) is deploying Ericsson’s cloud packet core product to augment its existing core network, as data demand continues to grow across the country. VIL will deploy the technology in its 22 data centers across India. The operator is in the midst of a $200 billion network expansion project.
VIL is upgrading its network in order to meet that data demand, as well as prepare for a future 5G deployment. The cloud infrastructure will enable VIL to pursue new revenue streams in small and medium businesses and IoT, and will help VIL quickly introduce new offerings to customers in order to meet increased expectations for connectivity, including personalized services, Ericsson said.
The cloud packet core is built on Ericsson’s virtual evolved packet core (EPC) applications. VIL will make use of Ericsson’s suite of core network applications and network functions offerings, including its virtual evolved packet gateway (vEPG), service aware policy controller (vSAPC) and network function virtualization infrastructure (NFVi).
Ericsson claims its NFVi solution enables telecom operators to deploy virtual OSS, BSS, IT and media applications, It also offers a secure platform for operators to take advantage of network slicing for IoT and future 5G applications.
“As users across India consume more and more data, packet core networks will need to be enhanced,” said Alvise Carlon, Ericsson’s head of digital services for market area south east Asia, Oceania and India. “This will not only provide VIL the scale and reach to address the growing data traffic levels in India, but the advanced cloud infrastructure will also enable VIL to tap new revenue streams in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and internet of things (IoT).”
The deal follows an earlier multiyear agreement between the two companies for 5G-ready equipment. Under that deal, VIL is deploying products from Ericsson’s radio system portfolio and microwave backhaul solutions to help boost the capacity of its 4G LTE network.