Nokia and du claim Middle East’s first VoLTE call

Nokia Networks and UAE-based telco du claim to have successfully connected the region’s first voice over LTE (VoLTE) call on a commercial network. The implementation of Nokia’s VoLTE solution and professional services on du’s network took just 80 days, which the Finnish vendor claims is the world’s fastest deployment of VoLTE.

Nokia’s solution is based on its IMS function, which enabled VoLTE to occur over a multi-vendor LTE network infrastructure. VoLTE, Nokia says, will help operators to compete more effectively with over the top (OTT) players. This is enabled due to lower operating costs of VoLTE services, lower data and battery consumption, and also by putting less signalling pressure on the network.

Saleem Al Balooshi, du’s Executive VP of Network Deployment and Operations, believes that its LTE network will help the operator to secure future revenue streams, indicating that mobile broadband is a priority for the company.

“With Nokia’s VoLTE solution, we will be able to use the full potential of LTE mobile broadband technology by ensuring seamless HD voice calls and video over our LTE network,” he said. “We are committed to providing the best mobile broadband experience for our customers, and this has been reconfirmed with this fastest installation and testing of VoLTE services. With our long-time partner Nokia Networks, we will soon be able to provide HD multimedia services including browser-based apps for video conferencing, chat, file sharing and other services for our customers.”

Nokia also believes the use of VoLTE will benefit operational efficiency and customer satisfaction of network services, according to Tony Awad, who is the Head of du Customer Team at Nokia Networks.

“VoLTE will free up capacity for voice and data services for a better overall customer experience and more efficient use of network resources,” he said. “In addition, it will reduce operating costs for the operator by enabling network simplification. du will also be able to integrate network resources, optimize network and service management, and simplify service delivery by providing voice and data services on the same LTE network.”

Nokia’s claims for the first commercial VoLTE call in the Middle East come as Lebanese operator Alfa trialled VoLTE calls over its live network earlier this year, and claimed that all future calls for 4G subscribers will be conducted over its LTE network.

Last month, Nokia also announced the unveiling of the industry’s “first” network functions virtualization management solution for operators, as well as an upgraded small cell product range.

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