Vodacom SA partners with NSN to combine 4G with voice

22 November 2012 | Kavit Majithia


Vodacom South Africa 4G users will now be able to utilise voice and text messaging after the operator selected Nokia Siemens Networks to enable circuit switch fall-back functionality on its LTE network.

The service will allow 4G users to make and receive voice calls through its GSM or 3G network, while retaining the benefits of LTE, and Vodacom SA claims it is the first company in the country to offer both 4G and voice services.

Vodacom will have access to the vendor’s Flexi Multiradio base station, and will deliver planning, implementation, optimisation and support services for the network.

“We want to ensure our customers get a unified service by being able to access both mobile voice and SMS services alongside 4G/LTE data services,” said Andries Steenkamp, managing executive, core network engineering at Vodacom South Africa.

“Nokia Siemens Networks has surely given us a head start over competition by providing a solution that meets our requirements. The fact that it was deployed in record time gave us an edge over others in the market.”

In addition, NSN has provided the South African carrier with its liquid core architecture, based on its mobile soft switch. The functionality will allow operators to reuse existing GSM and 3G investments to provide a unified voice and SMS service for people using its 4G services. The process will be monitored, managed and optimised by NetAct, NSN’s network manager.

NSN will further provide services for access network planning and data fill overlay MSS.

Paul Divall, head of Vodacom South Africa at NSN, said the company was committed to addressing the demands of the evolving LTE ecosystem. “The CSFB functionality was integrated into the operator’s live network with optimised call set up times and brought it into commercial operation within a time span of four weeks. This achievement further strengthens our business relationship and paves the way for greater opportunities in the future.”