Cellcom enlists Mavenir for IMS core

cell phones
An IMS core is expected to help decrease operational costs for Cellcom, while supporting voice over WiFi for its customers. (Pixabay)

After what’s been described as an exhaustive search, Cellcom has chosen Mavenir to deploy its virtualized IMS mobile core and voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) software solutions in its Michigan and Wisconsin markets.

The announcement, which was made just as the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) kicked off its Mobile Carriers Show in Denver this week, means Cellcom will be able to deploy VoLTE, VoWiFi and RCS solutions as the result of having an IMS core.

Not all Tier 2 and 3 operators have decided which way they’re going with IMS, and Cellcom is what David Peters, AVP of carrier sales in North America at Mavenir, called a thought leader in the space, as a lot of regional carriers look to it for advice.

“We’re in the process of deploying and launching this year” with Cellcom, he said on the sidelines of the CCA event. Being a software company, Mavenir is in a position to provide a road map to 5G. “It’s basically a beginning to your 5G network,” he added.

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For Cellcom, an IMS core is expected to help decrease operational costs and allow convergence of the network to deliver voice and rich multimedia services across any network access, including LTE, Wi-Fi and eventually, 5G.

“We look to Mavenir to help us transition our network to enable rapid service deployment for our customers,” said Lee Thibaudeau, Cellcom’s CTO and vice president of engineering, in a statement. “Mavenir’s deep expertise and extensive knowledge of implementing and deploying IMS and supporting services, will help us launch new product offerings on time and on budget. We look forward to partnering with Mavenir to deploy these new services for the benefit of our customers.”

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A subsidiary of Nsight, Cellcom provides service to customers in Wisconsin and Michigan. Last fall, the company partnered with Ericsson to host a 5G demo in Green Bay, Wisconsin, at which time CEO Mark Naze said the company was carving its path to 5G, deploying 5G-ready radios and installing fiber to carry the increased data traffic.