Alcatel-Lucent and Mobily Saudi Arabia have announced the first global deployment of virtualised radio access network (RAN) software from Alcatel-Lucent’s Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) portfolio launched during Mobile World Congress 2014.
Mobily is deploying Alcatel-Lucent’s 9771 Wireless Cloud Element Radio Network Controller (WCE RNC) to improve service performance, reliability, scale and operational efficiency. The Saudi telecom market is one of the most competitive in the Middle East, with more than 51 million mobile subscribers in a country that has a population of 27.3 million.
According to Alaa Malki (Ag . Mobile Network CTO of Mobily) said: “Our team worked very closely with Alcatel-Lucent to assure adopting the new technologies to maximise the network efficiency which is part of Mobily strategy and to use ALU cloud-based control solution. We have a very technologically sophisticated customer base and we need to stay at the forefront of technological innovation to provide the level of experience that will keep them satisfied. To that end we have achieved our first goal and we look forward to the improved virtualised RNC performance, reliability and scale.”
Running virtual radio network control functions over open, carrier-grade platforms provides considerable advantages over traditional approaches greatly facilitates advanced RNC requirements for geo-redundancy, near zero downtime maintenance and software upgrades, load balancing, and dynamic reconfiguration.
Amr K. El-Leithy, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Azerbaijan region said: “This is the first deployment anywhere for the virtual RNC by Alcatel-Lucent and it authoritatively demonstrates that carrier-grade cloud network solutions is a reality. Today, we have achieved a significant milestone with our virtual controller now handling live traffic in Mobily’s commercial network. Our accelerated investments in virtualised RAN applications are clear proof point that we have all the elements to help operators create an open agile, efficient cloud environment at a speed that meets their individual needs. ”
This new platform underpins Alcatel-Lucent’s virtualised LTE RAN activities which most recently included a proof of concept demonstration with China Mobile at Mobile World Congress 2014.