Idea Cellular to move mobile voice and data services to the cloud

17 August 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Idea Cellular, the Indian mobile operator that is about to merge with Vodafone India, has announced plans to move its data and voice services to a cloud platform.

The company, which will be called Vodafone Idea once the merger is complete, says the cloud technology will reduce costs and ease the move to 5G mobile.

Idea’s CTO, Anil Tandan, said: “This deployment will allow us to deliver a best-in-class network experience to our subscribers and significantly reduce the time required to introduce new services.”

Idea will use Nokia’s cloud-native core technology, AirGile, for the move. Nokia describes this as “a modular software architecture built with cloud-native products and capabilities” that will enable Idea to run “both packet and voice core on a common cloud platform”.

Tandan added: “As India prepares to define its path to 5G, we at Idea are building the foundation by adding Nokia’s cloud core capabilities.”

Nokia announced in June that Vodafone India is using its cloud packet core in its mobile broadband services – implying that after the Vodafone Idea merger is complete the unified company may be able to combine its cloud services.

In the June announcement Nokia said its Cloud Packet Core will be used to provide mobile data services for 7.8 million customers in Bangalore, India’s third biggest city.

This week Nitin Dahiya, who is head of the Idea customer team at Nokia, said: “Our cloud-native core solutions allows Idea to address the growing demand for both data and voice services to continue to evolve our business model and services.”

Idea will use Nokia’s cloud-native Cloud Packet Core solution, including its Cloud Mobility Manager, and its Cloud Mobile Gateway deployed on CloudBand. Dahiya added: “It further leverages the advantages of Nokia’s AirGile portfolio, to add flexibility and agility to the network. It is our privilege to partner with Idea in its journey towards digitalisation.”